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. 

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