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How is fiber optics changing the way communication goes around?

Communication is the key to survival in these modern times. There are many different mediums for faster communication. However, fiber optic communication is unique. Traditionally, we have electric wires for communication. However fiber optics replaces the electrical connectivity with light having a high travelling speed.

So, fiber-optic communication is a method of transmitting information from one place to another by sending pulses of light through an optical fiber. The light forms an electromagnetic carrier wave that is modulated to carry information. First developed in the 1970s, fiber-optics has revolutionized the telecommunications industry and played a major role in the advent of the Information Age. Because of its advantages over electrical transmission, optical fibers have largely replaced copper wire communications in core networks in the developed world.

There have been five generations of Optical Fibers till now. They have mainly progressed in wavelength, rate, and repeater spacing. Here’s a quick look at the generations that have and will change the face of communication.

Multi – Terabit Optical Networks

Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) paves the way for multi-terabit transmission. The need for increased bandwidth availability has led to the interest in developing multi-terabit optical networks. Researchers are looking at achieving higher bandwidth with 100Gbps. With the continuous reduction in the cost of fiber optic components, the availability of much greater bandwidth in the future is possible.

Intelligent Optical Transmission Network

Traditional optical networks are unable to adapt to the rapid growth of data services due to the unpredictability of dynamic allocation of bandwidth. They rely mainly on manual configuration of network connectivity, which is time-consuming, and unable to adapt fully to the demands of the modern network. Intelligent optical network is a future trend in optical network development, and will have the ability to adopt to the unpredictability of the bandwidth allocation.

Polymer Optic Fibers

Polymer optical fibers offer many benefits when compared to other data communication solutions such as copper cables, wireless communication systems, and glass fiber. In comparison to glass optical fibers, polymer optical fibers provide easy and less expensive processing of optical signals and are more flexible.

Improvement in Optical Amplification Technology

Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA) is one of the critical technologies used in optical fiber communication systems. To increase the bandwidth of EDFA, a better gain equalization technology for high accuracy optical amplification will be developed. To achieve a higher output power, high power pumping lasers with excellent optical amplification characteristics and very low noise figures are envisioned to exist in the future.

High-Altitude Platforms

Presently, optical inter-satellite links and orbit-to-ground links exist, the latter suffering from unfavorable weather conditions.

Current research explores optical communication to and from high altitude platforms. High altitude platforms are airships situated above the clouds at heights of 16 to 25 km, where the unfavorable atmospheric impact on a laser beam is less severe than directly above the ground. Optical links between high altitude platforms, satellites, and ground stations are expected to serve as broadband back-haul communication channels if a high-altitude platform functions as a data relay station.

Thus, we see it is evident that this optical fiber communication has a lot of scope in the future days, making man’s life easier.

Fiber optics is one of a series of amazing technologies, which has revolutionized the future. Read more about such technologies here.

You can know more about applications of capacitors here.

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