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Fiber Optic Glossary

interbuilding backbonea network that provides communications between buildings, e.g., college campus, office park, etc
watts (w)a linear measure of optical power, usually expressed in milliwatts (mw), microwatts (?w), or nanowatts (nw)
multilongitudinal mode (mlm) laser1) a laser, usually fabry-perot, that has a measured spectral width specified by the maximum root mean square of the spectral distribution (side modes), limited to no more than 20 db down from the pea...
single-longitudinal mode (slm) lasera laser, usually distributed feedback (dfb) type, where the spectral width is the width at the 20 db down points divided by 6.07
distributed feedback (dfb) lasera laser that uses an internal grating to reduce the line width of the laser, and may be used for analog applications, e.g., am/fm/dwdm
tunable laser1) a laser that can change its wavelength. applications include research, otdrs, and for protection in transmission systems
2) a laser system that can be "tuned" to emit laser light over ...

modulated lasera laser module that allows users to control output power by varying a control voltage, which turns the laser on and off
fanout kita kit designed for loose tube cable structures with multiple fibers per buffer tube. the fanout kit provides a 900-?m tubing over each 250-?m coated fiber strand, which allows for additional protectio...
fiber connector (fc)a keyed connector with threaded coupling mechanism that has 2.5-mm ferrule. mostly used in single-mode systems and test equipment
hybrid fiber coax (hfc)a hybrid system, used by the catv industry, that employs a fiber optic backbone and coax cables for final distribution from the node to the customer
vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (vcsel)a high-speed, low-cost laser operating at the 850-nm wavelength that is used for applications such as gigabit ethernet where the modulation rate of current leds is insufficient video on demand a video...
loose tube gel filled (ltgf)a loose tube cable structure with buffer tubes filled with gel to restrict moisture intrusion. mostly replaced with “dry” techniques, it is still used in areas of extreme low temperatures
dopant1) a material, usually germanium or boron oxide, added to silica to change its index of refraction
2) an impurity added to an optical medium to change its optical properties. edfas use erbium as a ...

numerical aperture (na)1) a measure of the angular acceptance for a fiber, approximately the sine of the half-angle of the acceptance cone. the na of an optical fiber defines a characteristic of the fiber in terms of its ac...
fabry-perot (fp) lasera multilongitudinal mode laser diode with a semiconductor on each end to form a resonant chamber to create the lasing effect. used in digital applications. limited to 10 gb/s speeds and used only for ...
inspection scopea microscope or digital scope that inspects ferrule and termini fiber endfaces for polishing quality, damage, or contamination
forward error correction (fec)a method to improve the performance of large-capacity optical transmission systems. system designs employing fec can accept relatively large ber (better than 10–12) in the optical transmission line be...
g -pon encapsulation method (gem)a method of data encapsulation over the g-pon network, similar to atm, that uses variable length frames to transport up to an encapsulated payload of 1500 bytes
fiber proof testinga mechanical tensile test used to measure the axial strength of an optical fiber, normally 100 kpsi
fusion splicer1) a mechanical device that optically joins optical fibers by discharging voltage between two electrodes. variations include the single fiber and ribbon fixed v-groove types, the profile alignment spl...
bit error rate (ber)1) a measurement of transmission accuracy. it is a ratio of bits received in error versus bits sent. fiber optic communication systems normally have a ber value of 10–9 or 10–12
2) the fraction of ...

outside diameter (od)a measurement of the diameter of ferrules, cables, ducts, and innerducts, e.g., 2.5 mm
interferometer1) a measurement instrument that projects interference bands across the face of fiber optic connector. the bands are used to determine the centering, angle of apex offset and radius of curvature of th...
core concentricitya measure of the relationship between the geometric center of the core of an optical fiber and the geometric center of the cladding, or how centered the core is
multifiber push-on connector (mpo)a high-density connector that can terminate up to 24 single-mode or 72 multimode fibers in a single termination
digital signal (ds)a hierarchy of digital signal speeds used to classify capacities of digital lines and trunks. the fundamental speed level is ds-0 (64 kb/s)
medium-density polyethylene (mdpe)a flexible, environmentally-stable thermoplastic used in outside cable jacketing
main cross-connect (mc)a cross-connect for first and second level cabling, e.g., from equipment facility connecting to all other locations (ics and hcs). usually a distribution or patch panel
profile alignment system (pas)a core alignment technique for fusion splices in which light is injected at right angles. a ccd camera detects the fiber’s refractive inlet profile in the x and y axes for optimization
small form factor (sff)a connector that offers higher density electronic equipment, enclosures, and distribution panels, lower connector costs, easier termination, and better optical performance
cleave and crimpa connector installation technique, also known as a nopolish connector. the plug is installed onto the cable with the optic protruding from the end. the cable is crimped to the connector and the optic...
diplexer1) a component used to provide two functions, such as multiplexing or filtering optical signals. for example, a diplexer used at an fttx optical network terminal filters the downstream 1490-nm wavelen...
four wave mixing (fwm)a collective name for a group of nonlinear processes where up to three different incident waves interact in the medium, resulting in a fourth wave
optical supervisory channel (osc)a channel, accessed at each optical line amplifier site, used for maintenance purposes including but not limited to remote site alarm reporting, communications necessary for fault location, and orderw...
composite cable1) a cable with a combination of optical fibers and copper (coaxial, twisted pair, or power). often confused with hybrid cables
2) a cable containing both fiber and copper conductors. also known as...

ribbon cable and fibera cable that has internal optical fiber ribbons. up to 24 fibers (250 ?m) are spaced evenly, sandwiched between two layers of matrix. normally there are up to 12 fibers per ribbon
splice closurea cable and fiber management product that environmentally protects and houses optical splices. available as inline or butt style, the closure is usually in a dome or clamshell configuration. s can als...
horizontal cross-connect (hc)a cross-connect of horizontal cabling to other cabling, e.g., horizontal, backbone or equipment. could be a patch panel or lan (small) panel
time division multiple access (tdma)a data transmission method in which a number of individual transmitters in different locations share a transmission channel, each occupying the channel for a portion of the total time
differential group delay (dgd)a delay caused by different arrival times of optical signals, which results in modal dispersion. in multimode fibers, dgd is the delay difference of the various modes. in single-mode fibers, dgd is th...
patchcorda fixed length of cable with like connectors on both ends (or, in the case of a hybrid cable, different connectors)
cable assembly1) a fixed length of cable with connectors installed on both ends. sometimes called a patchcord, patch cable, or jumper
2) a cable that is connector terminated and ready for installation.

tee couplera fiber optic coupler in which three fiber ends are joined together, and a signal transmitted from one fiber is split between the other two
active optical cable (aoc)a fiber optic cable that has been preterminated with an external electrical endface, thereby removing the termination process. the electrical endfaces can be manufactured with most module formats. the...
fiber demarcation box (fdb)a fiber demarcation box provides a service provider with a customer disconnection point, either via a splice or connector interface. slack cable storage and battery backup are stored here as well
multitenant data center (mtdc)a facility that provides internet infrastructure services, such as electrical power, fire suppression, security, cooling, and network access, usually over optical fiber. some firms lease datacenter sp...
fiber distributed data interface (fddi)1) a duplex, counter-rotating, and self-healing ring communication standard (ansi x3t9) that provides a 100 mb/s data format. often used to interconnect lowspeed protocols such as token ring and ether...
edge-emitting diode (eled)1) a diode that emits lights from the edge of a semiconductor chip, producing higher power and narrower spectral width
2) an led that emits light from its edge, producing more directional output th...

cleave toola device with a scribing blade, usually made from either diamond or tungsten carbide, used to score a fiber in order to break it without causing a fracture, hackles or angular irregularities. also kno...
optical amplifier1) a device that amplifies light without converting it to electrical signal. types include the edfa, raman, and soa
2) a device that amplifies an input optical signal without converting it into ele...