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Lesson Plan: Introduction To Fiber Optics

Lesson 1. Basics of Fiber OpticsLevel: Technician

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:
Basic overview   
The jargon and the technology
Optical Fiber
Fiber Optic Standards

Book Chapters:
The Fiber Optic Technicians Manual: 1, 2, 3, 11
Data, Voice and Video Cabling Installation:
11, 12

At The Technician Level
For 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
What 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  


Table of Contents: The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics

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