Thursday, 7 February 2013

Fibercore releases new sensing specialty fibers at PW13

Fibercore, reacting to new trends in commercial sensing in the oil & gas and current sensing industries, are leveraging its highly flexible MCVD preform manufacturing system to offer a range of new products. Products including pure silica core - SM1500SC(9/125), splice friendly high NA – SM1500 (6.4/125, 7.8/125, 7.8/80)  designed for harsh down-hole and sub-sea environments, spun HiBi SHB1250, delay coil – HB1250, HB1250G, HB1250T(245) and quarter wave plate fibers have all been added to its specialty fiber portfolio.

In terms of fiber design solutions, the ultimate solution for applications requiring fibers with low attenuation, low photodarkening and the ability to operate for prolonged periods of time at high temperatures, is the pure silica core fiber. By combining the hydrogen darkening resistance of the pure silica core fiber with the high temperature properties of a polyimide coating, capable of withstanding 300oC continuously, Fibercore have designed a fiber suitable for high pressure and high temperature hydrogen environments, particularly suitable for oil & gas applications.

In addition to the pure silica core fibers, Fibercore have developed a new range of “bridging fibers” designed to reduce splice losses between low NA telecoms fibers and high NA sensor fibers. This allows customers to design-in the bridging fibers to reduce the worry about splice losses to sensor fibers.

Fibercore Limited has developed a range of optical fibers designed specifically for use in Fiber Optics Current Sensing (FOCS). This includes the sensor element fibers Spun HiBi SHB1250 and Spun LoBi SLB1250 fibers, as well as supporting component fibers such as HB-Z ZING™ polarizing fibers, HB, HB-T and HB-G delay coil fibers and quarter wave plate fibers. The fibers can be used in various deployments from simplistic low sensitivity, low accuracy, linear polarization systems through to high sensitivity, high accuracy, circularly polarized systems.

FOCS/OCTs (Optical Current Transformers) offer significant advantages over traditional current sensing technologies; the sensor element is naturally decoupled from the voltage line, there is minimal electrical interference on the signal line, they offer extremely fast response times with high measurement accuracy, the size and weight of the sensors is reduced in comparison with existing technologies and they do not explode during catastrophic failure, unlike oil-filled electrical insulation towers.

Dr Chris Emslie adds, “These new products are designed to offer technical advantages beyond standard fibers, with a view of designing the right fiber for the right application. Working closely with our customers we continue to identify and develop new product opportunities as solutions to known sensing issues in a wide range of industries. Specialty fiber technology really is penetrating new markets.”

To book an appointment, please email or contact us on +44 (0)23 8076 9893.

About Fibercore

Founded 1982, Fibercore is a leading innovator, designer and manufacturer of specialty fiber serving customers across the world. Products include specialty fiber for the Aerospace, Defence and Telecommunications industries – the business is a global market leader. The company’s operations are headquartered in Fibercore House, a custom built Southampton based facility. Fibercore has four Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

-          Visit Fibercore at:
-          Follow Fibercore on Twitter: @Fibercore1
-          Watch Fibercore on YouTube

Editorial contacts
For further information including scheduling interviews with Fibercore spokespeople and photography please contact:

Helen Morris | Marketing Manager | Fibercore Ltd
University Parkway | Southampton Science Park |
Southampton | Hampshire | SO16 7QQ | UK


Tel: +44 (0) 02380 765343                            


Monday, 3 December 2012

Fibercore Announces New Chairman

Fibercore, a UK based global market leader in the design and manufacturing of specialty optical fibers would like to announce two board level appointments.  Ex BAE Systems plc CEO, John Weston, has been appointed as Chairman of the Board and ex Thus plc COO, Phil Male, will act as strategic advisor.

These appointments follow the recent management buyout of the group from Cisco Systems, Inc by CEO Dr Chris Emslie backed by H.I.G. Capital, a private equity fund with over €8.5 billion in funds under management.

Dr Emslie comments, “We couldn’t ask for better, more experienced industry veterans for our Board.  I am delighted to welcome John and Phil to Fibercore.  Both are highly accomplished executives in their respective fields and their collective experience will be invaluable in helping shape the future of Fibercore.”

John Weston

Having studied engineering at Cambridge, John Weston worked with what was to become BAE Systems plc until 2002.  Ultimately becoming CEO, forming a group with $20 billion in sales and employing 120,000 people, he was a member of the quartet credited with turning around the group’s fortunes in the 1990s.  Since leaving BAE Systems John has held a number of chairman positions including Spirent plc, iSOFT plc, and Inbis plc. He is currently working with MB Aerospace, an aerospace machining and design engineering business, Torotrack, a manufacturer of continuously variable transmissions and Lo-Q, a systems company in innovative queuing devices.

Phil Male

Phil Male has been involved in the development of the media, internet and telecommunications sectors since the late 1980s.  He obtained a computer science degree from Imperial College where he was involved in the early operations of the UK’s first academic IP networks. Phil became Technical Director with the start-up Demon Internet, one of the world’s first internet service providers.  Upon its sale to and subsequent demerger from Scottish Power plc, he became a founder and Chief Operating Officer for Thus plc as it then became known.  This was further sold to Cable and Wireless plc where Phil became Operations and Customer Services Director.  Phil is now CEO of UK2 Group, a multinational data hosting group and holds various non-executive roles.

Founded 30 years ago, Fibercore was formed as a spin-out from the world-renowned Optical Fiber Group of the University of Southampton (ORC), offering specialty optical fibers developed at the university.  Today, Fibercore is a global leader in specialty optical fiber, developing, designing and manufacturing specialty fiber for more than 300 customers across the world.  Shipping over 1.4 million meters of fiber per month, Fibercore provides fiber for a broad range of applications.  This includes fiber optic gyroscopes, hydrophones and geophones, harsh environments such as high temperatures, pressure, hydrogen or radiation, fiber lasers, fiber amplifiers, current sensors, other sensors including discrete and distributed, telecommunications components and other medical, government and research applications.  These in turn serve a number of industries, including government defence and aerospace, telecoms , oil and gas, medical, energy, academic and research.  The group’s operations are headquartered at Fibercore House, a custom built, Southampton based facility.
-          Visit Fibercore at:
-          Twitter: @Fibercore1
-          Fibercore Blog:
-          Contact: +44 (0)2380 769893
-          Email:

H.I.G. Capital is a leading global private equity investment firm, with more than €8.5 billion of equity capital under management and a team of more than 225 investment professionals.  Based in Miami, H.I.G Capital has U.S. offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, and San Francisco, as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Paris and Rio de Janeiro.  H.I.G. specializes in providing capital to small and medium sized companies with attractive growth potential.  H.I.G. invests in management-led buyouts and recapitalizations of profitable, well managed manufacturing or service businesses.  H.I.G. also has experience with financial restructurings and operational turnarounds.  Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. invested in and managed more than 200 companies worldwide.  The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 80 companies, with combined revenues in excess of €12 billion.  For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at

Monday, 26 November 2012

Specialty Fibers for Harsh Environments

Those that attended the FOHEC Conference last week will be aware of the buzz that was created around the use of specialty optical fibers in aeronautics, space and other harsh environments.  As well as meeting old colleagues, it was a welcome opportunity to meet other people in the industry to discuss the future of optical fibers.

Much talk was made of the transition from traditional copper cables to the new exciting world of optical fibers, modernising the communication methods on board aeroplanes to accommodate the increased demand for video and data capabilities expected by the average traveller.  However, communications does not just cover the fiber that conveys the data to the user, but uses many different components throughout the systems, and the increased use of satellites in space present some particularly challenging questions.  Fibercore addressed these problems over ten years ago by developing radiation tolerant versions of their bend-insensitive HiBi polarization maintaining fiber for use in the gyroscopes required by space applications and Dr Andy Gillooly discussed these fibers and the findings of our research during the first of our three presentations at the Symposium. The white paper has since been published on the Fibercore website.  The effects of radiation on erbium doped fibers is also a major consideration for communication satellites and Fibercore is looking into the problems that this causes to understand ways of addressing this in the future.

For those that are used to dealing with sturdy copper cables, it is difficult to see the glass fibers as being anything other than fragile and difficult to handle. However, in reality these fibers are more flexible than the old cables and incredibly strong, particularly when the reduced-clad 80µm and even 50µm diameter fibers are chosen.  Dr Chris Emslie was able to demonstrate and discuss this in our second presentation of the show, illustrating the physical characteristics by twisting and pulling the fiber samples that he brought with him whilst explaining the lifetime expectations during his presentation.  A copy of his white paper is also available if you would like to read more. 

Communications was not the only topic of discussion.  With the recognition of the benefits of optical fibers, comes more demand for their use in different marketplaces and applications.  Telecommunications fibers are great for the transmission of data but are limited in their use outside of this area, and this is where the specialty fibers of Fibercore come into their own.  By offering greater photosensitivity and significantly lower bend-induced loss, the results they offer for sensor applications is far superior to standard 125µm telecom fibers, and above even the new range of enhanced telecom fibers, and José Alvarez explained why this is so in the third and final Fibercore presentation of the event. His white paper compares the bend-insensitivity and life-time expectation of our specialty optical fibers against both the SMF28 type and new enhanced fibers for telecommunications, incorporating information on the various coating options that are available for different operating environments.

So the journey for specialty optical fibers goes on, and new challenges continue to present themselves. Fibercore has been at the cutting edge of development for over thirty years and our team looks forward to the next chapter with some excitement, ready to use their expertise and knowledge to address the questions and provide new solutions. 

For more information visit our website at or contact our sales team at

Friday, 9 November 2012

Optical Fibers for Harsh Environments

There is excitement at Fibercore as we prepare for the forthcoming FOHEC show in Swindon in a few days’ time.  This is the fourth FOHEC show concentrating on innovations, current applications and best practices in harsh environment applications and we are looking forward to sharing our expertise and discussing other innovations with our colleagues in these marketplaces.

Variants of our World-leading HiBi PM fibres have been specifically designed for operating in space for over a decade and can be found in applications from sensing satellites to the Mars Curiosity Rover.  During this time we have discovered what changes are necessary for our standard fibres to ensure that they are able to withstand the extra stresses, such as radiation, that the space environment presents.  Dr Andy Gillooly will be sharing our findings with his audience during his presentation, Radiation Tolerant Fibres for Harsh Environments, on Tuesday 20th November 2012.

Harsh environments are not only restricted to outer space, as you know, but can be found in many situations back here on Earth.  During the 30 years that Fibercore has devoted to the design and innovations in optical fibre technology, we have investigated the benefits of smaller diameter fibres on life-time and bend insensitivity, and Dr Chris Emslie will be discussing these in his presentation, Low-Profile Optical Fibers in Harsh Environments, later in the same day.

Bend-Induced attenuation is especially important for fibres in sensing technology and our 80µm singlemode optical fibers have been designed to offer the optimum performance, with the advantage of a variety of NAs and MFDs to choose from to suit individual applications. The benefits of these fibres, when compared with standard telecommunication fibers, are considerable and José Maria Alvarez will be discussing these in his presentation, ‘Key Advantages of Bend-Insensitive Specialty Fibres vs Telecoms Fibres for Harsh Environment Applications’, on Wednesday 21 November.

Different environments present different problems, and Fibercore are constantly working on ways to overcome these.  FOHEC offers us the opportunity to discuss our solutions using higher temperature coatings, with polyimide and high-temperature acrylates, and radiation tolerant versions of our fibres, with other experts in the field.  If you are attending the show, come along to our tabletop in the GWR Steam Museum where we will available to discuss these problems and our solutions with you. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

New Marketing Positions at Fibercore Ltd

Following our divestiture from the Cisco group, and the very successful completion of Fibercore's first full year as an Independent Company, we are expanding our Sales and Marketing Department and are recruiting for the following two new posts:

Company Marketing Executive

An exciting opening has been created for an experienced marketer to join Fibercore Limited in the new role of Company Marketing Executive.  Although the position will be supported by a full-time Marketing Assistant, this is a very hands-on role that will give you the opportunity to lead a major re-branding exercise and to develop the new marketing strategies, particularly within the digital sphere, that will spearhead Fibercore's plans for strong and continued business growth.  Reporting directly to the Chief Executive, the successful candidate is likely to be degree-qualified, with relevant post-graduate qualifications in marketing and/or business.  A born communicator, you will also have a strong awareness of and affinity for Science and Technology and the proven ability to create a broad range of high-quality, technical marketing collateral.  Experience of managing external agencies (Creative, PR, etc), websites and CRM databases, and the organisation of international tradeshows and events are also essential - as is a true passion for Marketing.  The position carries a competitive salary and an exceptional benefits package.

Marketing Assistant

The expansion of Marketing at Fibercore has created a rare opportunity for a recently-qualified marketing professional to gain international experience across a broad spectrum of both traditional and digital marketing activities.  Reporting to the Company Marketing Executive, you will assist in a major, re-branding project encompassing the build of a new website, creation of new literature, development of a digital strategy and all associated communications.  Day-to-day activities will include helping in all aspects of the organisation of international trade-shows, from booking floor-space, organising hotel accommodation for attendees, through to pre- and post-show promotion, participation in lead-generation activities, management of the CRM and updating of the website.  You will most likely be educated to degree level with a professional qualification in marketing or business.  You will also be able to demonstrate a strong interest in Science and Technology and the ability to understand and communicate complex concepts in a clear and simple manner.  The position carries a competitive salary and an exceptional benefits package.

Fibercore Limited is a market leader in the field of 'Specialty' Optical Fibers.  Originally a technology spin-out from the University of Southampton, now celebrating its 30th year in business, the Company exports over 95% of its production to around 50 countries Worldwide.  Its innovative products are used in a diverse range of industrial sectors including Aerospace, Telecommunications, Energy and Fundamental Research - and have been deployed quite literally from Southampton to Mars!  Growing demands and ambitions for growth mean that we need exceptional individuals to head up and assist in formalising Communications and lead-generation.  If this sounds like you - then Fibercore Ltd wants to hear from you.

To apply for either position, send your cv and covering letter to: or write to:
Human Resource, Fibercore Ltd, Fibercore House, University Parkway, Southampton Science Park, Hampshire SO15 7QQ

Applicants only - No agencies please !

Monday, 17 September 2012

Inertial Sensors and Systems - Symposium Gyro Technology 2012

HiBi Single Polarizing HB-Z Zing™ Fibers for Fiber Optic Gyroscopes

0930 hrs Day 2: Wednesday 19 September 2012

Jose Alvarez will be discussing the use of HB-Z Zing™ fibers in FOGs in the second of our two papers at this Show.  Introduced in 2010, continual development now enables us to offer two new variants for operating at around 830 nm and 1310 nm, in addition to the original HB1060Z . 

Over the last few years the Inertial Navigation System (INS) industry has experienced an increasing demand in the accuracy of the gyroscopes for new military, space and civil applications. In this sense, setting and controlling the polarization state of the light launched into the fiber coil is a critical issue when designing a high precision Fiber Optic Gyroscope (FOG).

Traditionally, LiNbO3 multi-funtional integrated optical chips (MIOCs) have included the polarizing functionality in the gyro along with the splitter and the modulator, with different results in performance, cost and resilience.  The complexity of including the MIOC in the FOG design, and its high impact in the total cost of the gyroscopes, have created many problems to the FOG manufacturers. To support the industry, Fibercore have designed a new range of polarizing Zing™ fibers that will bring an all-fiber passive solution to this problem in terms of reduced cost, compact packaging, low insertion losses, power consumption, reliability, etc. 

A polarizing fiber guides the light in just one axis of the transmitted mode, cancelling the orthogonal degenerated mode by means of bending losses due to its extremely high birefingence levels.  This high birefringence (represented by a beat-length of about 0.6 mm @ 633 nm) creates a different refractive index and therefore a different propagation constant for the light traveling on both fast (lower refractive index) and slow (higher refractive index) axis. Therefore the bend edge of both axes will be clearly separated and, at some point, the fiber will guide the light in just one of the axes allowing for a stable single polarizing window of 100 nm - 200 nm with higher than 30 dB PER levels. To encourage this behaviour, the fiber will operate far away from the cut-off region and the initial NA of the fiber will be as low as possible so the polarizing effect is much more noticeable.

A theorectical explanation, based on the bending loss equation, of the basic operation and design principles of these fibers will be given in the paper.  The benefits of an all-fiber solution over other alternative technologies will be discussed along with significant experimental results showing the performance of the Zing™ fibers under different deployment and system conditions.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Inertial Sensors and Systems - Symposium Gyro Technology 2012

Radiation Tolerant Optical Fibers for Fiber Optic Gyroscopes

1600 hrs Day 1: Tuesday 18 September 2012

Fibercore Ltd has long been associated with fibers for FOG applications and our fibers are used in many different environments, each environment presenting its own unique challenge.  In the first of our two presentations at this year's Symposium in Karlsruhe, Dr Andy Gillooly will be discussing the challenges that space applications present and how they are overcome. 

The application space for Fiber Optic Gyroscopes (FOGs) has been constantly growing with many applications in ground based vehicles, marine and aerospace sectors. As the FOG technology matures and gains better acceptance the use of FOGs in high value projects, such as satellites, continues to grow.  TV channel broadcasting drives the growth of the satellite industry and with momentum behind the lower cost micro-satellites there will be many new opportunities for the inclusion of FOGs into future satellite projects.

For most FOG fiber coils, polarization maintaing (PM) highly birefringent fibers are used which have an inner cladding region made from phosphorus doped silica.  The addition of phosphorus into the inner cladding aids the manufacturing process and is suitable for most terrestial applications. However with exposure to radiation, the phosphorus causes the attenuation of the fiber to increase.  The rate of attenuation increase is relative to the radiation dose and the operating state of the fiber.  Therefore PM optical fibers which are to be used in space applications or other applications that require radiation resistance need to be designed without phosphorous.

The effect of radiation on erbium doped fibers will also be discussed to give a balanced view on the possibility of using erbium doped fibers as ASE light sources for FOGs in radiation environments.  The radiation causes a change in the spectral response that is not constant over the full spectral range of the absorption and emission of the erbium doped fiber.  The level of spectral change is relative to the type and concentration of dopants used within the fiber, giving significant constraints in the ability to design an erbium doped fiber suitable for space applications.

The theory will be analysed and discussed and experimental results will be shown comparing the performance of phosphorus doped and phosphorus free PM fibers before and after exposure to radiation and the effects on erbium doped fibers will also be measured and discussed.