Optical links for data perform three basic functions. First, the data link transmitter converts an electrical input signal to an optical signal. Then, the optical fiber transmits this optical signal. Finally, the data link receiver converts the optical signal back to an electrical signal identical to the original input. However, previous tutorials have not described how optical power transfers from one optical component to another.
Optical links in a system connection may require either a fiber optic splice, connector, or coupler. One type of system connection is a permanent connection made by splicing optical fibers together. A fiber optic splice makes a permanent joint between two fibers or two groups of fibers. There are two types of fiber optic splices-mechanical splices and fusion splices.
Typical fiber optic connectors.
Even though removal of some mechanical splices is possible, they are intended to be permanent. Another type of connection that allows for system reconfiguration is a fiber optic connector. Fiber optic connectors permit easy coupling and uncoupling of optical fibers. Fiber optic connectors sometimes resemble familiar electrical plugs and sockets.
Systems may also divide or combine link signals between fibers. Fiber optic couplers distribute or combine link signals between fibers. Couplers can distribute an optical signal from a single fiber into several fibers. Couplers may also combine optical signals from several fibers into one fiber.
Fiber optic connection losses may affect
system performance. Poor fiber end preparation and poor fiber alignment
are the main causes of coupling loss. Another source of coupling loss is
differences in optical properties between the connected fibers. If the
connected fibers have different optical properties,such as different
numerical apertures, core and cladding diameters, and refractive index
profiles, then coupling losses may increase.
Coupling and Reflection Losses
Fiber End Preparation
Fiber Optic Splices
Fusion and Multifiber Splices
Fiber Optic Connectors
More Fiberoptic Connectors
Fiber Optic Couplers
More Fiberoptic Couplers