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What signals does fiber optics transmit? How does fiber optics transmit data?
Knowledge Base + 2023.11.27

Fiber optics transmit optical signals, which are signals that use the electromagnetic wave nature of light to transmit information. An optical fiber is a thin, hollow tube made of high-purity glass or plastic that is capable of transmitting light signals within it. The transmission speed of optical signals is very fast and can reach 1/3 of the speed of light, so optical fibers have a wide range of applications in the fields of communications, computer networks, medicine, and the military.

How does optical fiber transmit data? Simply put, it is to convert the electrical signal into optical signal and transmit it through optical fiber. Specifically, the following are the steps of data transmission by optical fiber:

Step 1: Light source generates optical signals

Light sources usually use lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which convert electrical energy into light energy. Lasers produce light signals with high purity and light intensity, which can be used for high-speed data transmission, while LEDs produce light signals with low brightness, which are suitable for short-distance communication.

Step 2: Modulate the optical signal

Electrical signals are converted to optical signals by modulators. Modulators usually use semiconductors or electro-optical modulators, which are capable of converting parameters such as frequency, amplitude, and phase of the electrical signal into the corresponding parameters of the optical signal, thus realizing the transmission of information.

Step 3: Optical Signal Transmission in Optical Fiber

When the optical signal propagates in the optical fiber, it will be reflected and refracted many times, and finally reach the receiving end. In the transmission process, the optical fiber is required to have high transparency, refractive index and reflectivity to reduce signal attenuation and distortion. At the same time, there are a variety of transmission modes in optical fiber, such as single-mode fiber and multi-mode fiber, which can be selected according to the application requirements.

Step 4: Detecting the optical signal

The receiving end will use a photodetector to convert the optical signal into an electrical signal and perform signal processing, amplification and demodulation. Photodetectors usually use photodiodes or photomultiplier tubes, which can convert the light intensity of the optical signal into an electrical signal voltage or current, for high-speed data transmission, but also need to use high-speed circuits and digital signal processors for subsequent processing.

Through the above steps, the optical fiber will be able to transmit data in a high-speed and stable manner. Fiber optic transmission has the following advantages:

1. High speed: fiber optic transmission speed is very fast, can reach 1/3 of the speed of light, so it can achieve high-speed data transmission, suitable for large bandwidth applications.

2. Stability: fiber optic transmission has strong resistance to electromagnetic interference and signal attenuation, and will not be affected by lightning strikes, electromagnetic interference, signal interference and other factors.

3. Safety: fiber optic transmission does not produce electromagnetic radiation and electromagnetic leakage, so it will not cause harm to the surrounding environment and human health.

4. Long distance: fiber optic transmission distance is long, can reach thousands of kilometers or even tens of thousands of kilometers, and the quality will not be lost in the transmission process.

In summary, fiber optic transmission by converting electrical signals into optical signals, using the nature of light to transmit information, with high-speed, stable, safe, long-distance and other advantages, in the modern communication network plays an extremely important role.