Fiber Optics - Data Transmission "by Light"
Data transmission by light is becoming increasingly important: It is fast, insensitive to electromagnetic interference fields and thus relatively immune to interference but also to eavesdropping. It is often the preferred solution in potentially explosive environments and is quite safe against fire initiation, lightning and short circuits. No crosstalk occurs and the transmission provides complete galvanic isolation of the transmitting and receiving sides, a grounding is not required.
The cables used are called optical waveguide or fiber optic cables (in addition to quartz glass, the material is often plastic). In highly simplified terms, an optical waveguide is constructed in concentric layers, consisting of the light-carrying core, a cladding with a lower refractive index and a protective layer of plastic. The diameter of the core can be down to just a few micrometers: Single-mode fibers (SMF) have a smaller diameter (OS1 and 2 with 9 µm) and only one propagation mode, i.e. a single wavelength of light in the fiber core. Multi-mode fibers (MMF) are offered with two core diameters (OM1 with 62.5 µm and OM2, 3, 4 and 5 with 50 µm) and allow more light modes to pass through.
For fiber optic technology, you can find these products at Meilhaus Electronic:
- Extensions of the USB, Ethernet/LAN, RS232, RS422 and RS485 interfaces via fiber optics (extenders, media converters).
- Optical fiber splicing.
- Optical fiber testing with OTDR (optical time-domain reflectometry) and optical power measurement.