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Fiber Optic Glossary

a/b switch
    A device that accepts inputs (optical or electrical) from a primary path and a secondary path to provide automatic or manual switching in the event that the primary path signal is broken or otherw...
acceptance angle
    The angle over which the core of an optical fiber accepts incoming light; usually measured from the fiber axis. related to numerical aperture (na).
access network
    Part of the telecommunication network that connects to individual and corporate users.
active device
    A device that requires a source of energy for its operation and has an output that is a function of present and past input signals. examples include controlled power supplies, transistors, leds, a...
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....
adapter sleeve
    A mechanical fixture within an adapter body that aligns and holds two terminated fiber connectors. adapter sleeve material is typically phosphor bronze, ceramic or polymer.
add-drop multiplexer
    A device that drops and/or add one or more optical channels to a signal.
add/drop multiplexing
    A multiplexing function offered in connection with sonet that allows lower level signals to be added or dropped from a high-speed optical carrier in a wire center. the connection to the add/drop m...
aeolian vibration
    Wind-induced vibration, usually high frequency, which causes oscillation of cable
aerial plant
    Cable that is suspended in the air on telephone or electric utility poles.
air blown fiber (abf)
    An installation technique developed by british telecom where micro ducts or “pipe cables” are installed, and then optical fibers or fiber bundles are blown into the cable with spans reaching 10,00...
air handling plenum
    A space within a building designed for the movement of environmental air, e.g., a space above a suspended ceiling or below an access floor
alignment sleeve
    An appliance for mating and holding two connector ferrules in alignment. also known as a c-clip
all silica fiber
    Also known as all-glass fiber. a fiber with both a silica core and a silica cladding, regardless of the presence of a polymer overcoat or buffer.
all-dieletric cable
    Cable made entirely of dielectric (insulating) materials without any metal conductors, armor, or strength members.
all-optical network (aon)
    A network that uses only optical components to produce, direct, condition, control, and connect optical signals
angular misalignment
  1. The fiber optic cores of a mated pair of connectors are held at an angle, either by mispolish, worn alignment sleeve, or contamination

  2. Loss at a connector due to fiber end face angl...
annulus
  1. The figure bounded by and containing the area between two concentric circles.

  2. A structure shaped like a ring
apc (angled physical contact)
    Abbreviation for angled physical contact. a style of fiber optic connector with a 5°-15° angle on the connector tip for the minimum possible backreflection.
apd (avalanche photodiode)
    A photodiode that exhibits internal amplification of photocurrent through avalanche multiplication of carriers in the junction region.
ar coating
    Antireflection coating. a thin, dielectric or metallic film applied to an optical surface to reduce its reflectance and thereby increase its transmittance.
aramid yarn
    Yellow fibers that provide cable tensile strength, support, and additional protection for the optical fiber bundle. kevlar® is a particular brand of aramid yarn.
armadillo loopback
    A ruggedized fiber optic test adapter designed to loop a signal from the tx side of a port to the rx side, simulating a complete connection.
as-builts
    Drawings that provide accurate depictions of cable running lines, pedestal locations, electronic sites, manholes, marker posts, etc., to aid with the management of cable assets and allow the facil...
ase (amplified spontaneous emission)
    A background noise mechanism common to all types of erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (edfas). it contributes to the noise figure of the edfa which causes loss of signal-to-noise ratio (snr).
atm (asynchronous transfer mode)
    A digital transmission switching format, with cells containing 5 bytes of header information followed by 48 data types. a transmission standard widely used by the telecom industry. a digital trans...
attenuation meter
    A device used to measure power loss in fiber optic connectors, cables, or systems.
attenuation-limited operation
    The condition in a fiber optic link when operation is limited by the power of the received signal (rather than by bandwidth or distortion).
avalanche photodiode (apd)
    A semiconductor photodetector with integral detection and amplification stages. electrons generated at a p/n junction are accelerated in a region where they free an avalanche of other electrons. a...
awg (arrayed waveguide grating)
    An array of curved planar waveguides that separates many optical channels at once. also called waveguide array. a device, built with silicon planar lightwave circuits (plc), that allows multiple w...
axial propagation constant
    For an optical fiber, the propagation constant evaluated along the axis of a fiber in the direction of transmission.
backbone cabling
    The inter-building and intra-building cable connections between entrance facilities, equipment rooms and telecommunications closets. backbone cabling consists of the transmission media, main and i...
backbone system
    A transmission network that carries high-speed telecommunications between regions (e.g., a nationwide long-distance telephone system). sometimes used to describe the part of a local area network t...
backreflection
    The loosely-used term covers optical return loss (orl) for spans, reflectance for components, and fresnel reflectance
backscatter coefficient
    The ratio of the optical pulse power (not energy) at the otdr output to the backscatter power at the near end of the fiber (z0). this ratio is inversely proportional to the pulse width, because th...
bandwidth-limited operation
    The condition in a fiber optic link when bandwidth, rather than received optical power, limits performance. this condition is reached when the signal becomes distorted, principally by dispersion, ...
bayonet fiber-optic connector (bfoc)
    The formal name for the st connector, a specific slotted twistlock connector with 2.5-mm ferrule
bend loss
    Increased attenuation due to macrobends (curvature of fiber) or microbends (small distortions in the fiber) coupling light energy from the fiber core to the cladding
bend radius
  1. The smallest radius an optical fiber or fiber cable can bend before excessive attenuation or breakage occurs.

  2. The smallest radius of curvature into which a material can be bent with...
bending loss
    Attenuation caused by high-order modes radiating from the outside of a fiber optic waveguide which occur when the fiber is bent around a small radius. see also macrobending, microbending.
biconic
    A phenolic-bodied, threaded, spring-loaded, nonkeyed connector with a cone-shaped alignment area
biconic connector
    A type of fiber optic connector consisting of two cone-shaped ferrules aligned by a mating sleeve.
birefringent
    Having a refractive index that differs for light of different polarizations.
двупреломляющий;
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 fr... frecuencia de errores;
bit period (t)
    The amount of time required to transmit a logical one or a logical zero.
bpon
    An abbreviation for broadband on passive optical network.
br (backreflection)
    A term applied to any process in the cable plant that causes light to change directions in a fiber and return to the source. occurs most often at connector interfaces where a glass-air interface c...
bragg grating
    A technique for building optical filtering functions directly into a piece of optical fiber based on interferometric techniques. usually this is accomplished by making the fiber photosensitive and...
bragg scattering
    Scattering of light caused by a change in refractive index, as used in fiber bragg gratings and distributed bragg reflectors.
break out
    To separate the individual fibers or buffer tubes of a fiber-optic cable for the purpose of splicing or installing optical connectors.