What is Fiber Optic Connectors?

While conventional copper wiring and connectors have long and reliably served countless communication and electrical power applications, newer technologies have come about which supersede their capabilities. One major competitor to such technology is fiber optic cables and fiber optic connector parts, those of which facilitate the transfer of data and power through the use of light. Generally, such technology has found use in telecommunications, internet communications, and applications related to government, defense, medical, industrial, and commercial processes. While cabling ensures the relaying of data and power, the fiber optic connector itself is imperative for proper transfer and functionality. In this blog, we will discuss fiber optic connectors, ensuring that you have ample understanding of their functionality before making a purchasing decision.

In their most basic form, a fiber optic connector is simply the component that allows for optical fibers to be attached and removed from one another. When connecting two end faces, optical energy output sourcing from the transmitting fiber is then coupled to the receiving fiber. With their ability to mitigate system impact, their reliability and performance is high.

Before making a purchase, it can be highly beneficial to be aware of the optical performance of particular connectors. Generally, fiber optic connectors are judged based on two basic parameters, those of which are their insertion loss and return loss. Insertion loss refers to the connection loss, that of which is the loss of the effective optical power when the connector is introduced to the link. While lower insertion loss is always better, values lower than 0.5dB are best. Return loss, meanwhile, is the ability for a connector to suppress link optical power reflection, and values should never be lower than 25dB for optimal performance. For more traditional connector components, return losses are often larger with values sitting around 45dB on average.

Fiber optic connectors and fiber optic accessories are considered to be universal passive devices, meaning that the same type of fiber optic connector may be used in any desired combination or can be repeatedly used as needed. While interchangeability and repeated use is permissible, it is important to be aware that many components have a service life that exceeds 1,000 plugging and unplugging actions.

Beyond such characteristics, it is also useful to discern the tensile strength and temperature limitations of the component. For tensile strength, a value meeting or exceeding 90N is most optimal. For temperature requirements, meanwhile, components should be capable of withstanding heat and cold ranging from -40 degrees Celsius to 70 degrees Celsius.

Once basic performance characteristics and attributes have been considered, one may then look to the various fiber optic cables, fiber optic accessories, and fiber optic conductors that they require. Fiber optic connector components come in many forms, those of which include the FC connector, SC connector, biconic connector, MT-RJ connector, LC connector, MU connector, and MC connector. For accessories, on the other hand, fiber optic filters, fiber optic amplifiers, and fiber optic terminators are all common. No matter what your needs are for a particular application, Aerospace Orbit is your sourcing solution.


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