Fiber Optic Glossary
Part of the telecommunication network that connects to individual and corporate users.
An adapter is a mechanical device designed to align fiber-optic connectors. It contains the split sleeve, also known as the interconnect sleeve, that holds the two ferrules together. Adapters can help mate or connect a variety of fiber optic cables together.
APC (Angled Physical Contact)
Abbreviation for angled physical contact. A style of fiber optic connector with a 5°-15° angle on the connector tip for the minimum possible backreflection.
Antireflection coating. A thin, dielectric or metallic film applied to an optical surface to reduce its reflectance and thereby increase its transmittance.
Yellow fibers that provide cable tensile strength, support, and additional protection for the optical fiber bundle. is a particular brand of aramid yarn.
A ruggedized fiber optic test adapter designed to loop a signal from the Tx side of a port to the Rx side, simulating a complete connection.
A protective layer, usually metal, wrapped around a cable.
Reduction of signal magnitude, or loss, normally measured in decibels. Fiber attenuation is normally measured per unit length in decibels per kilometer. The decrease in signal strength along a fiber optic waveguide caused by absorption and scattering. Attenuation is usually expressed in dB/km.
Abbreviation for American Wire Gauge. Based on a circular mil system. 1 mil equals .001 inch. Used to determine the size of conductors
A transmission network that carries high speed telecommunications between locations. This is normally the main portion of a telecommunication network, with branches going to individual buildings. In a local area network, this is usually the link between routers, switches, and bridges.
1. A form of increased attenuation in a fiber that results from bending a fiber around a restrictive curvature (a macrobend) or from minute distortions in the fiber (microbends). 2. A form of increased attenuation caused by allowing high order modes to radiate from the walls of a fiber optic cable. There are 2 common types of bend losses. The first type results when the fiber optic cable is curved through a restrictive radius or curvature. The second type is generally referred to as microbends. It is caused by small distortions of the fiber optic cable imposed by externally induced perturbations as, for example, slip shod cabling techniques.
The radius of curvature that an optical fiber can bend without sustaining damage.A branched fiber optic lightguide that performs both receiving and transmitting functions.
A type of fiber optic cable containing several fibers, each with its own jacket and all of them surrounded by one common jacket. Breakout cables are designed for convenient installation of fiber optic connectors but tend to have high transmission losses due to bends in the fibers.
Indicating a capability to deal with a relatively wide spectral bandwidth; high-speed data transmission in which a single cable can carry a large amount of data at once.
A protective material extruded directly on the fiber coating to protect it from the environment (tight-buffered).
Many individual fibers contained within a single jacket or buffer tube. Also, a group of buffered fibers distinguished in some fashion from another group in the same cable core.
An assembly of optical fibers and other material providing mechanical and environmental protection.
Optical fiber cable that has connectors installed on one or both ends. General use of these cable assemblies includes the interconnection of optical fiber cable systems and opto-electronic equipment.If connectors are attached to only one end of a cable, it is known as a pigtail. If connectors are attached to both ends, it is known as a jumper or patchcord.
The material surrounding the core of an optical waveguide. The cladding must have a lower index of refraction to keep the light in the core.
A material put on a fiber during the drawing process to protect it from the environment and handling.
A mechanical device used to align and join two fibers together to provide a means for attaching to and decoupling from a transmitter, receiver, or another fiber (patch panel).
A RF power amplifier is a type of electronic amplifier used to convert a low-power radio-frequency signal into a larger signal of significant power, typically for driving the antenna of a transmitter. It is usually optimized to have high efficiency, high P1dB compression, good return loss on the input and output, good gain, and good heat dissipation.
The central region of an optical fiber through which light is transmitted.
Multi-fiber cable constructed in the tight-buffered design. Designed for ease of connectorization and rugged applications for intra-or inter-building requirements.
A mechanical fixture, generally a ceramic tube, used to protect and align a fiber in a connector. Generally associated with fiber optic connectors.
Fiber Optic Adaptor
An adaptor is a device used to connect the same or different type connectors, so that a connection may be made between them.
Fiber Optic Cable
An fiber optic cable is a cable containing one or more optical fibers. The optical fiber elements are typically individually coated with plastic layers and contained in a protective tube suitable for the environment where the cable will be deployed.
Fiber Optic Patch Cord
A patch cord is an optical cable, used to connect optical device to another for signal routing. Each end of the cable is attached to a connector, so the cord may be plugged in.
Fiber Optic Pigtail
A pigtail is a cable with one connector. Types of connectors may vary widely, FC, SC, ST, and etc.
Fiber Optic Termination Box
Fiber optic termination box is used to terminate and connect optical fibers by splices and connectors. The boxes are wall mounted, or installed in the cabinet. They can be used with any type of connectors.
Fiber to the x (FTTX) including FTTH, FTTB, FTTC and FTTN, is a generic term for any network architecture that uses optical fiber to replace all or part of the usual copper local loop used for telecommunications. FTTx is delivered using active Ethernet and various passive optical network (PON) technologies. The passive FTTx approach utilizes equipment that does not require power, and splits or divides the bandwidth between users.
Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network(GEPON) is a point-to-multipoint, fiber to the premises network architecture in which unpowered optical splitters are used to enable a single optical fiber to serve multiple premises, typically 32.
Insertion loss is the loss of signal power resulting from the insertion of a device in a transmission line or optical fiber and is usually expressed in dBs.
The total Optical Power Loss caused by the insertion of a component such as a Splice or Connector in an optical Fiber system.
Optical fiber cable that has connectors installed on both ends.
Local Area Network (LAN) is a computer network covering a small geographic area, like a home, office, or group of buildings e.g. a school. The defining characteristics of LANs, in contrast to wide-area networks (WANs), include their much higher data-transfer rates, smaller geographic range, and lack of a need for leased telecommunication lines.
Loose Tube Cable
Type of cable design whereby coated fibers are encased in buffer tubes offering excellent fiber protection and segregation.
An optical waveguide in which light travels in multiple modes. Typical core/cladding size (measured in micrometers) is 62.5/125.
Combining two or more signals into a single bit stream that can be individually recovered.
An optical attenuator is a device used to reduce the power level of an optical signal, either in free space or in an optical fiber. They are commonly used in fiber optic communications. The basic types of optical attenuators are fixed, step-wise variable, and continuously variable.
The main component of an optical receiver is a photodetector that converts light into electricity through the photoelectric effect. The photodetector is typically a semiconductor-based photodiode, such as a p-n photodiode, a p-i-n photodiode, or an avalanche photodiode. Metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) photodetectors are also used due to their suitability for circuit integration in regenerators and wavelength-division multiplexers.
The most commonly-used optical transmitters are semiconductor devices such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes. The difference between LEDs and laser diodes is that LEDs produce incoherent light, while laser diodes produce coherent light. For use in optical communications, semiconductor optical transmitters must be designed to be compact, efficient, and reliable, while operating in an optimal wavelength range, and directly modulated at high frequencies.
An OTDR injects a series of optical pulses into the fiber under test. It also extracts, from the same end of the fiber, light that is scattered back and reflected back from points in the fiber where the index of refraction changes. (This is equivalent to the way that an electronic TDR measures reflections caused by changes in the impedance of the cable under test.) The intensity of the return pulses is measured and integrated as a function of time, and is plotted as a function of fiber length. An OTDR may be used for estimating the fiber's length and overall attenuation, including splice and mated-connector losses. It may also be used to locate faults, such as breaks.
Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy (PDH) is a technology used in telecommunications networks to transport large quantities of data over digital transport equipment such as fiber optic and microwave radio systems.
Optical power meter is a device used to measure the energy in an optical signal. A typical device consists of a display unit and a calibrated sensor. Power meters are calibrated using a traceable calibration standard such as an NIST standard.
Abbreviation used to denote polyvinyl-chloride. A type of plastic material used for cable jacketing. Typically used in flame-retardant cables.
Router, including broadband and wireless router, is a device whose software and hardware are usually tailored to the tasks of routing and forwarding information. It is used to connect two or more logical subnets, which do not necessarily map one-to-one to the physical interfaces of the router.
Synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) and synchronous optical network (SONET) based on circuit mode communication, meaning that each connection achieves a constant bit rate and delay refer to a group of fiber-optic transmission rates that can transport digital signals with different capacities.
Telecommunications, also called telecommunication, is the exchange of information over significant distances by electronic means. A complete, single telecommunications circuit consists of two stations, each equipped with a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter and receiver at any station may be combined into a single device called a transceiver.
The distance between two successive points of an electromagnetic waveform, usually measured in nanometers (nm).
Wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) is a technology which multiplexes multiple optical carrier signals on a single optical fiber by using different wavelengths of laser light to carry different signals. This allows for a multiplication in capacity, in addition to enabling bidirectional communications over one fiber.
A wireless router is a device that performs the functions of a router but also includes the functions of a wireless access point and a network switch. They are commonly used to allow access to the Internet or a computer network without the need for a cabled connection. It can function in a wired LAN (local area network), a wireless only LAN (WLAN), or a mixed wired/wireless network. Most current wireless routers have the following characteristics:
A wireless LAN( WLAN) is a wireless local area network, which is the linking of two or more computers without using wires. WLAN utilizes spread-spectrum or OFDM modulation technology based on radio waves to enable communication between devices in a limited area, also known as the basic service set. This gives users the mobility to move around within a broad coverage area and still be connected to the network.