Lesson 1. Basics of Fiber Optics
Objectives: Understanding the basics of fiber optic technology and applications. Overview of fiber optic components and applicable industry standards. Understanding fiber optic jargon. How to handle and install fiber optic components safely.
Student Assignment: Read the references and take the quizzes (Test Your Comprehension)
References: Basic Presentation Slides: 1-26 (FOA Starter Kit - Basic, Fiber Optics.ppt)
Online FOA Reference:
The jargon and the technology
Fiber Optic Standards
The Fiber Optic Technicians Manual: 1, 2, 3, 11 At The Technician Level
Data, Voice and Video Cabling Installation: 11, 12
students training to be fiber optic technicians, it is not necessary to
learn the theory of how fibers work or geometric optics common to
academic courses. A very basic explanation of the way fiber works is
adequate for most students.
At The Academic Level
At the acedemic level, students should have a higher level textbook assigned for the class. We suggest Jeff
Hecht's Understanding Fiber Optics, Gerd Keiser’s Optical Communications Essentials or Jim Downing's Fiber Optic Communications for most beginning classes.
For Every Student
all students do need to know is what is "fiber optics," what types of fibers exist, where they are
used - and why, what are the different characteristics, how you can
tell the differences between them, what are the unique features of
termination and splicing for each. Besides the usual multimode
(62.5/125 and 50/125) and singlemode fibers, it's good to know about
PCS and HCS fibers and plastic optical fiber (POF), as all have
applications in today's market. Within the scope of the basics course,
students should cover what causes loss in the fiber, source types and
wavelengths used at each wavelength.
Here is a good point to review standards (EIA, IEC) and safety issues. In particular, it is
important to address safety: the usual fear that the light in the fiber
is always dangerous to the eyes. While that is indeed true in
some laser-based telecom and CATV systems during their operation, the
student should understand that another real danger is in sticking fiber
into the fingers, getting broken pieces of fiber in the eyes or dealing
with epoxies and solvents that may be hazardous.
Extra Credit Reading
How optical fiber is manufactured