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White Papers

Innovation is a key component of the AFL culture and one of our core values. Our engineers continually research and develop the latest in optical fiber technology to provide the best solutions for the industry and our customers. Check out these white papers - you might find the answer you're seeking.

Fiber Optic Cable

Distributed Temperature Sensing

by: Christopher Gables

How it Works: A short laser pulse is launched down a fiber optic cable. The length of the pulse is typically 10 nanoseconds or less for increased spatial resolution. This light pulse propagates down the fiber through a region of the core and cladding glass known as the mode field. The velocity of light is dependent on the medium through which it travels. For glass with an index of refraction of n ≈ 1.5, the velocity of light is v ≈ 2∙108 m/s.

eABF Blown Fiber

eABF - The New Approach to Enterprise Fiber Optic Cabling

by: Steve Martin

Abstract: This article introduces an innovative cabling solution for the fiber optic structured cabling market. The new technology, eABF Enterprise Blown Fiber, is revolutionary in its design approach and offers the network cabling system engineer a highly scalable, flexible and smart solution.


Fluorine-doped Core Boosts Radiation Resistance of Single-mode Fiber

by: Sean Foley

Abstract: Reliable fiber-optic communications in high-radiation environments such as linear accelerators and nuclear reactors is made possible by silica fibers with optimized fluorine-doped cores.


Test and Inspection

OTDR Event Analysis

by: Mark Miller

Abstract: Data center, enterprise, and FTTx fiber networks present a number of challenges when it comes to locating and measuring events and impairments. These challenges include multiple connectors and splices in each fiber, numerous short jumper cables, and splitters. Higher data speeds drive the need to ensure low reflectance and loss. The sheer number of fibers to be tested can prove to be a daunting task, one requiring automated event analysis. The Noyes M310 uses new, powerful techniques of analyzing OTDR traces that provides users with highly accurate and reliable automated event tables.


Meeting the Unique Test Challenges of FTTx Deployment

by: Michael Scholten

Synopsis: Passive optical networks are being deployed worldwide to more cost-effectively deliver high-bandwidth broadband services to subscribers.
FTTx PONs present unique installation verification and maintenance troubleshooting challenges. These challenges are effectively overcome
when technicians understand FTTx PON architecture and are equipped with test tools designed to address the unique test requirements of


Fusion Splicing

Annular Heating of Optical Fiber with a CO2 Laser Using Reflective Axicon Elements

by: AFL's development and application engineer team

Abstract: A method of providing consistent uniform and controlled zone heat at a fiber's surface is presented using a CO2 laser with axicon refl ective elements. This optical configuration converts a laser beam into a light structure resembling a disc or cone that can band a fiber's perimeter. The characteristic of this structure is its inherent ability to deliver increasing power density through uniform convergence toward the structure's center thus applying the appropriate melting heat to varying sizes of fiber. By offsetting the light structure, precise localized zone heating and annealing of specific areas at a fiber's surface can be achieved as well. This is essentially a passive devise into which active feedback elements can be incorporated to allow precise control of processes such as splicing, tapering, ball and axicon lensing, end capping and combiner fabrication.


Fourier Analysis Method for Asymmetric Polarization-Maintaining Fiber Alignment

by: Wenxin Zheng, Hiroshi Sugawara, Bryan Malinsky

Abstract: A new method for alignment of asymmetric polarization-maintaining (PM) fibers has been developed. It improves alignment accuracy for PM fibers with asymmetric stress applying parts. It provides a fast and accurate universal method for splicing recently developed PM fiber types.


Stripping Optical Fibers Utilizing the Fujikura PCS-100 Polyimide Coating Stripper

by: Robert Valerio

Abstract: The recently released Fujikura PCS-100 is a novel stripping tool for removing polyimide coating from optical fibers. Extensive testing on the stripping ability of this equipment has demonstrated repeatable high tensile strength values with narrow distributions, both for polyimide and acrylate-coated optical fibers. Additionally, the PCS-100 stripping process has been shown to create an evenly beveled coating edge, ideal for applications that include recoating.


Interrelation Profile Analysis Method for Alignment of Polarization-Maintaining Fiber

by: Wenxin Zheng, Doug Duke, Toshiki Kubo, and Bryan Malinsky

Abstract: A new method for alignment of polarization-maintaining (PM) fibers has been developed that solves alignment problems with low-contrast PM fibers. It provides a fast and accurate universal method for PM fiber alignment.


Heating Power Feedback Control for CO2 Laser Fusion Splicers

by: Wenxin Zheng, Hiroshi Sugawara, Toshirou Mizushima, William Klimowych

Abstract: A novel feedback control method has been developed for an automated splicer using a CO2 laser as the heating element. The feedback method employs a sensor for laser beam power and CMOS cameras as sensors for fiber luminescence which is directly related to glass temperature. The CO2 laser splicer with this type of feedback system provides a consistent platform for the fiber laser and bio-medical industry for fabrication of fused glass components such as tapers, couplers, combiners, mode-field adaptors, and fusion splices. With such a closed loop feedback system, both splice loss and peak-to-peak taper ripple are greatly reduced.


Automated Alignment and Splicing for Multicore Fibers

by: Wenxin Zheng

Abstract: A novel method for aligning multi-core fibers (MCF) provides a systematic approach for MCF splicing in the lab, in cable factories, and in the field. This method also provides possibility of loss estimation for side-cores using IPA method and central core with WSI images.


Arc Power Calibration for Fusion Splicing Optical Fibers with Varying Diameters

by: Wenxin Zheng and Bryan Malinsky

Abstract: A novel arc calibration method has been developed for fusion splicing optical fibers with a large variety of glass diameters. This method heats the fiber with multiple short arcs and measures the amount of meltback at the corner of the fiber-ends. The fiber corner melting speed is found to be proportional to the fiber temperature. By varying the arc power of the multiple arcs, we can determine the desired arc power and appropriate melting speed for the tested fiber. This method has tested to be consistent and accurate using a newly released splicer with a controllable plasma zone. The splicer can automatically select the correct arc power for various fiber glass diameters. It enables the optimized splice parameters to be easily transferred to multiple splicers in production lines, resulting in consistent, high quality splice results.