Product Focus: Fibre


Southampton Photonics (SPI) and the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), University of Southampton, UK, demonstrated over 600 W from a single fibre laser. The results, which the team believes to be the highest powers ever reported with a single fibre gain module, demonstrate that cladding-pumped fibre lasers can produce the high powers needed to compete with more traditional laser technology in applications such as remote welding by offering high powers that preserve beam quality. Led by Dr. Johan Nilsson, the team produced over 600 W of output power at 1090 nm from an ytterbium-doped fibre laser, which is one of the more efficient lasers available, SPI says. According to SPI's roadmap, single-fibre singlemode output powers well in excess of 1 kW will soon be achieved. These lasers can then be combined to produce multi-kilowatt solutions with excellent beam quality, efficiency and reliability. "This result," notes SPI chief executive David Parker, "is another example of how SPI is developing scalable fibre-laser designs and architectures, from the 100-W fibre-laser products that we are offering today to the kilowatt fibre lasers we will be delivering. These lasers reflect SPI's execution to our roadmap of delivering advanced, manufacturable fibre-laser technology to our OEMs."

Blown fibre is fast making a name for itself as the flexible, cost-effective solution to the challenge of preparing networks for future expansion. Panduit's strategic alliance program, PACT (Panduit Architecture for Converged Technologies), has seen the company introduce Pirelli's Sirocco blown fibre system into its total fibre solution set. Sirocco allows businesses to defer the cost of deploying a whole fibre network in one go, instead allowing connections to be installed on an as needed basis and thus avoiding investment in unprofitable dark fibre. In addition to fibre to the desktop, fibre is also being deployed through initiatives such as metro Ethernet, which enables high-density areas of business and residential customers to subscribe to broadband services. Service providers can remove the significant cost of having to dig trenches in which to lay the last mile connectivity by blowing fibre along existing water, gas, and electricity conduits. The Opti-Channel system includes the Opti-Jack fibre-optic connector and Opticom pre-terminated high-density fibre-optic enclosures, patch cords, and termination kits, meaning smaller footprint requirements in data centres. Boasting world class quality to deliver the highest network transmission speeds, the Opti-Channel system is also completely modular so it can be tailored to fit any configuration need.

Pirelli Telecom Cables & Systems enhanced its optical-fibre portfolio with the addition of SM Light singlemode fibre. With singlemode (G.652-specified) fibre the most widely used fibre in the world, Pirelli has sought the views and input of customers before refining its fibre. The result is SM Light, a singlemode fibre characterised through to 1625 nm and targeted at enhancing performance for high-bit-rate applications, splicing, and resistance to bending and external mechanical stresses. The fibre geometry distribution has been tightened. Cladding diameter is 125 ±0.7 µm, coating diameter is 245 ±5 µm, and core/cladding concentricity error stands at a value of <0.5 µm. SM Light has also enhanced the bending performance, making the fibre more resistant to external factors it may encounter during its lifetime. In fact, the typical microbend value is now 0.6 dB/km/(g/mm) at room temperature. SM Light will now be the standard G.652 singlemode fibre in Pirelli cables, joining the range of fibres in the company's product portfolio, including FreeLight, the long distance G.655 fibre and MagniLight, the low water peak G.652.c fibre for metropolitan applications. SM Light has already been chosen for the Indosat Backbone Network, a major project in Indonesia.

CommScope, developer of broadband communications cables, introduced the ConQuest PullMaster, a conduit pull modelling software package that helps system engineering and construction groups model and optimise conduit cable pulls. The software gives those responsible for planning cable installation a simple technique for predicting expected tensions and fill ratios for a specific cable pull. The construction process can be optimised and best pull locations identified, thus helping to reduce failure and cost. "By allowing optimal cable pulling locations to be identified prior to installation, explains CommScope technical services director Mark Alrutz, "crews can reduce the problem of damaging cable during installation or encountering a situation where cables overfill the allowed space."

Wave7 Optics introduced new versions of two products in its Last Mile Link range, intended for fibre to the home applications. The Last Mile Link is currently being deployed in 18 networks, which will ultimately serve more than 80,000 customers across the U.S. and internationally. The Last Mile Gateway Business (LMG-B) is now available in an environmentally hardened version to operate across a temperature range of –40 to +60°C. It is designed to allow network operators to leverage their existing residential infrastructure to pursue lucrative commercial-service opportunities and offers up to four T1/E1 ports, four broadcast cable TV connections, POTS, and a 4×10/100 or 1000BaseT connection to high-speed data via the Last Mile Link architecture. The Last Mile Core (LMC) is the foundation of the Last Mile Link FTTX access architecture and is now available in a rack-mounted version, in addition to pole-, pedestal-, or vault-mounting. The LMC-RM will operate across a temperature range of –40 to +60°C to eliminate the need for expensive environmentally controlled structures and real estate costs.

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering launched the IQS-12001B cable assembly test system for multimode patch-cord applications. The system automatically tests multimode (850/1300 nm) and singlemode fibres (1310/1550 or 1550/1625 nm) for connector insertion loss and mandrel-free reflectance measurements. The company claims that the automated test system offers "best in class" specifications for insertion loss testing (multimode, ±0.07 dB; singlemode, ±0.03 dB) and the best mandrel-free reflectance range in the industry (multimode, 10-45 dB; singlemode, 30-70 dB). "It is designed to maximise throughput and quality fibre assemblies such as simplex, duplex, multifibre, and bundle," says EXFO product management director Étienne Gagnon. "The system relies on our PC-based, Windows-driven IQS-500 modular platform, suite of plug and play test modules, and software library to deliver insertion loss and reflectance measurements with the highest degree of accuracy and repeatability."

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