Fiber Optics Essay, Research Paper
E-Tek Dynamics was founded in 1983. The company started out as a research and development firm for the Department of Defense and NASA. E-Tek started with only a few typewriters and a few hundred dollars; little did they know that the company was on its way to being one of the leaders in communication. The first task of this new company was to set up high-speed communications cables for NASA. (www.e-tek.com)
There are many problems that we must overcome. The cables can only be one inch in diameter. The cable must be able to transfer the data very long distances, without losing any speed or data. The cables need to be well insulated, which will make it hard to fit the size specifications. Above all the cable must be cheap.
I recommend that we develop on big cable that will contain with many tiny wires in it. We should make the wires really small so we can fit more into the big wire (seen in figure 1). The metal for the wire must have high conductivity, and flexibility. Two thousand strands of wire should be able to fit in the two-inch tubing.
Wires can transfer data at high speeds, but wires lose speed over long distances. The metal most commonly used in wires to transfer data is copper. Copper has an overall conductivity of approximately 60.1 percent. Copper looses 21.2 percent due to Corrosion Resistance, 6.7 in heat transfer, and 1.5 percent thru Aesthetics. We will be using a lot of copper; the cost will be low because we are buying in bulk (seen in figure 2 www.copper.org/cable/communicates.html).
Another data transfer method is a new technology called Fiber optics. To understand how a fiber optic cable works, imagine a pipe that is several miles long. Now imagine that the inside surface of the pipe has been coated with a perfect mirror. Now imagine that you are looking into one end of the pipe. Several miles away at the other end, a friend turns on a flashlight and shines it into the pipe. Because the interior of the pipe is a perfect mirror, the flashlight’s light will reflect off the sides of the pipe (even though the pipe may curve and twist) and you will see it at the other end. If your friend were to turn the flashlight on and off in a Morse code fashion, your friend could communicate with you through the pipe (as seen in figure 3 www.howstuffworks.com).
Core: the inner light-carrying member.Cladding: the middle layer, which serves to confine the light to the core.Buffer: the outer layer, which serves as a “shock absorber” to protect the core and cladding from damage. The concentric layers of an optical fiber includethe light-carrying core, the cladding and the protective buffer.Figure 3
We have two options to choose from, copper wire or fiber optics wire. The only way to decide on the type is to analyze both choices, and pick the best. Copper would be easier and faster. The fiber optics would be faster. For every dollar being invested in fiber, $2.30 is being spent on copper. Price wise the cable to go with would be fiber optic cable, because it is more than two times cheaper. It is also faster and can transfer data futher distances (www.copper.org).
We decided to go with the fiber optic cabling, due the price and speeds that it is capable of doing. The design team designed the product in just two days. The fiber optic cable was to be constructed without a problem. Thousands of fiber optic strands are now packed into the two-inch outer casing. The cables are a success. The cables are now ready to be sold.