Our Team Explains Attenuation in Fiber Optics and If You Can Avoid It

 In Fiber Optic Cabling

CKC Data Solutions specializes in air-blown fiber optic cabling for your commercial property. We can install the cables and the conduits to make sure your facility is future-proof when you require additional fiber 10 and even 20 years from now. 

Attenuation represents one possible problem inherent in fiber optics. This factor is almost unavoidable when installing your fiber-optic network.

Our team explains what attenuation is and if you can avoid it. 

What is attenuation?

Attenuation occurs when light diminishes between the input and output of the signal. You might lose some power in the transmission due to attenuation.

What causes attenuation?

Attenuation happens when passive media components such as cable, cable splices, and connectors interfere with the signal. It also occurs due to natural limitations in each glass fiber.

Attenuation due to external factors is called extrinsic attenuation, while factors within the glass cause intrinsic attenuation.

What causes attenuation within glass fibers?

Despite refining the glass to make it as pure as possible for light to travel through it, intrinsic attenuation occurs in two different ways.

Absorption is a kind of attenuation due to natural impurities, such as hydrogen ions, that absorb some light energy within the glass. Scattering happens when natural, microscopic particles in the fiber scatter the light energy on its way to the endpoint.

Intrinsic attenuation is impossible to avoid.

However, you can limit extrinsic attenuation based on the installation.

How can I avoid extrinsic attenuation in my fiber optic cable?

Extrinsic attenuation happens due to losses when fiber optics are bent, poor slices, or poor connectors. Installers can bend fibers too much, causing them to change the critical angle between the core (innermost fibers) and cladding (outermost protective layer), which makes light escape from the fiber. Microbends happen when lateral stress, or stress coming in at a sideways angle, causes the critical angle of light to change.

How does a project account for attenuation?

Every fiber optic installation project accounts for some attenuation loss. Measured in decibels, you cannot avoid intrinsic attenuation. For extrinsic attenuation, every project will have a maximum allowable limit based on the splices and connections needed during the installation. If the project exceeds those limits, there is a problem that must be addressed.

Who can install fiber optic cabling in Springfield, MO?

Contact CKC Data Solutions or call (417) 812-5251 for more information on how we can help take your business to the next level with world-class telecommunications infrastructure like air-blown fiber optic cable.

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