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Advantages and disadvantages of fiber optic system

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of fiber optic system. It mentions Fiber optic advantages and Fiber optic disadvantages.

The optical fiber system is used for carrying light from one point to the other. It consists of transmitting device, receiving device and fiber optic cable. Transmitting device converts electrical signal to light signal. Receiving device converts light signal to electrical signal. The fiber cable is made of plastic or glass material which is transparent and thin in size. It is used to carry light. There are two types of fiber optic cable viz. single mode and multi-mode. The single mode carries light with specific wavelength while multi-mode carries large number of wavelengths. Refer Fiber optic communication system and optical components used in fiber chain.

fiber optic communication system

LED and Laser diodes are used in the transmitter and receiver modules of fiber chain respectively. Refer LED vs Laser for difference between LED and laser devices.

Advantages of Fiber Optic system

Following are the advantages of Fiber Optic System:
➨The fiber can carry large amount of data due to larger bandwidth capacity. Data can be transmitted at very high speed usually 1.6 TB/sec in the field. Due to this fact, next generation internet will be based on light. It is known as LiFi (i.e. Light Fidelity).
➨Fiber incur low loss to the signal usually 0.3 dB/Km. Hence optical repeaters are not needed for long distances.
➨Though the initial installation cost is higher. It benefits for long run due to more benefits compare to earlier coaxial based systems.
➨The fiber optic system is immune against EM interference and hence can be laid near the high frequency towers and places where electro-magnetic radiation is a concern. Moreover it does not radiate any EM waves as it operates on light and hence will not affect any nearby EM signal based systems such cellular, microwave, satellite etc.
➨It has higher electrical resistance and gence can operate safely near to high voltage lines and equipments.
➨It is light in weight and hence easy to install.
➨The optical fiber transmission power is very less. Moreover light carried by cables do not leak other than beginning and end of the system. Hence it does not have any crosstalk effect between the optical cables.
➨It does not generate any spark. Due to this fact it finds applications in automobile industry also.
➨Unlike RF based systems which can be tapped and intruded by the intruder, fiber based communication can not be tapped as light is transported within the cable itself. This enhances security for individuals as well as business enterprises.

Disadvantages of Fiber Optic system

Following are the disadvantages of Fiber Optic System:
➨Cost: The initial installation cost is higher due to expensive optical transmitter and receiver. Moreover it requires specific tools for maintenance and repair.
➨It is difficult to splice compare to wires usually at the starting and end joints. Moreover interfacing tools and connectors are costly.
➨When the light comes in contact with imperfection during travel and optical power is higher, it leads to destruction of fiber cable. This can be prevented using fiber fuse devices, which breaks the circuit to prevent further damage.
➨Fiber optic system can not carry electrical power which is often requirement at terminal equipments/devices.


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