Fiber optic transmission technology is a cutting edge method of sending and receiving information over great distances using light as the carrier. The signal can not be disrupted by outside sources like electricity, rain, humidity, or other things that tend to damage conventional copper wire signals. Fiber optic transmission systems offer high security because they do not induce or emit any external energy. A signal loss can be detected almost immediately as long as the system is monitored. Fiber optic video transmission systems are more cost effective than conventional means because the maintenance cost of copper systems is greater than that of fiber. Practically, copper is a non-renewable resource and is scarcer than the raw material – sand – used to fabricate the glass inside optical fiber.
1. Fiber optical cable support higher bandwidth and faster data rate transmission than either copper twisted pair wire or coaxial cable.
2. As a result of low loss, fiber optic cable can transmit at much greater distances, than either twisted pair copper or coaxial cable. Commercially available fiber optic converter can transmit video, audio and data for many kilometers/miles without requiring a repeater. This is compared to a copper coaxial cable that requires repeaters almost every mile. A repeater consists of a fiber optic transmitter and fiber optic receiver or fiber optic transceiver and is used to regenerate a signal in order to increase distance.
3. Fiber is immune to electro-magnetic (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI), lightning strikes, and is not conductive. Unlike copper, it does not cause ground loops and since photons are transmitted, there is no possibility of a fire hazard from a spark. Optical cable may be installed next to high voltage electrical equipment and power or be lashed directly to telephone lines.
4. The materials in optical cables include glass, Kevlar, plastic and PVC. If the cable is specified as an “all dielectric” (non metallic), it is not affected when installed in and exposed to corrosive, chemical environments. It can also be specified for direct burial in the ground with rodent protection.
5. A multi-stranded fiber optic cable is always much smaller in diameter and lighter in weight than the equivalent multi-stranded copper or coaxial cable. It is easier to handle and can usually be installed in existing conduit or duct space – even when the conduits are already filled with other cables.
6. Fiber optic cable is ideally suited for secure communications systems because it is very difficult to tap. The equipment required to decode transmission through a fiber would have to decipher if the signal is analog AM or FM, Digital, LED or Laser based and the optical frequency employed. If the fiber is cut, the “leaking of light” may be picked up as loss of signal at the monitor end.