Fiber optic cable and its applications

When the fiber optic cable first came into existence, it brought forth a whole lot of changes across industries, especially in the telecommunications sector. It provided the perfect replacement and a more advantageous alternative to its predecessor, the copper wire. Made of very thin glass strands, the fiber optic cables are well known for their ability to transmit data at the speed of light across long distances. The very fact that they are invincible even under extreme weather conditions has made them the obvious choice for many applications.

Here we shall look at some of the applications that embed fiber optic cables into their system. Before that, let us understand what fiber optic really is.

What is fiber optic?

Fiber optic is a type of technology where information or data is transmitted as light pulses through glass fibers (sometimes plastic fibers) covering long distances. The optical fibers which constitute the fiber optic cable are as thin as a strand of our hair and, when bundled up, can transmit over very long distances at the speed of light. Thanks to the fiber optic cable, we have the internet that connects us to the entire world.

Why use fiber optic cables?

The capacity, speed, and immunity to interference from electromagnetic fields make fiber optic cables the ultimate solution for many applications. Additionally, they are absolutely secure to transmit data.

Since the signals are in the form of light, there are lesser chances of fire or other mishaps with the fiber optical cables. They are also lesser in cost when compared to copper wires and provide very clear reception. With easy installation and upgrades, they assure of an efficient solution across many practical applications, especially in the telecommunications industry.

Applications of fiber optics

All of us quite aware that fiber optics is used in internet connectivity and for computer networking. They are also very commonly used for cable televisions and to connect telephones. But these are not the only fields where fiber optic cables are used.

  • Military: Since fiber optics are not easy to interfere with, even with electromagnetic interferences, the fiber optic is used in military communications and several other military-based applications.  This technology has further expanded into tactical cables, stronger and high-quality components for military data transmission. It is also widely used as hydrophones for SONAR and seismic aircraft, underwater applications like submarines, and more.
  • Medical: Medical is another field where fiber optics find a lot of applications. Thanks to fiber optics, we now have non-intrusive methods instead of open surgeries like endoscopy. Furthermore, fiber optic technology is also employed in biomedical and microscopic research.
  • Automotive: Have you noticed the way the lighting has changed in the automotive industry? The narrow spacing and the amazing lighting have rendered them the best choice for lighting in the automotive industry. They can also be used to transmit signals within the vehicles, which helps in the activation of airbags and control of traction.
  • Remote inspections: When you have to inspect a place that is hard to reach through normal means, fiber optic cables come in handy. These can reach into places with ease and help with the inspection, especially for onsite engineers.
  • Sensory devices: It is also used in many different sensory devices for pressure, temperature, motor car wiring, and other industrial settings. It is also used in spectrometers to study the composition of various materials where it is too large to fit inside the device itself.
  • Decorative lighting: The fiber optic cable is also used as lighting for decorative purposes. As they can handle light pretty well, they are also used at places that need lighting.

And the list of uses is endless in every industrial sector.

Fiber optic technology has been in existence since the 1970s and has been used extensively across multiple industries over the years. The technology has made invaluable contributions to not just the telecommunications industry but also across many industries. They are already part of our everyday lives, and we expect it to become an integral part of many other industries in the days to come.