With the rapid speed at which fiber optic devices are becoming a widespread standard over those with conventional copper wiring, many industries and applications are facing constant improvements in their data transmission speeds, signal capabilities, and more. While standard consumers and businesses have both become somewhat familiar with fiber optics, many may not be aware of the various internal components that enable them to be so useful. With fiber optic transmission of signals, there can sometimes be an abundance of light that is delivered through a receiver, and thus it must be reduced for optimal power levels and functionality. With a device known as a fiber optic attenuator, the power level of such signals can be controlled, leading to more efficient operation.
The optical attenuator is a passive fiber optic device that can reduce the power level of an optical signal. To achieve such a result, attenuators absorb, diffuse, deflect, reflect, disperse, and diffract light. Absorption is often the most common form of reducing light through the system, and a wavelength range is implemented in order to equally remove power from the transmission. With fiber optic attenuators, it is always important that light is not reflected back through fiber optic devices, as it can cause issues.
While attenuators are most often discernable by their methods of removing power, the two most common types that are available on the market are fixed attenuator and variable attenuator devices. With a fixed attenuator, the levels at which attenuation is conducted is always unchanged. As such, they serve well for single-mode applications in which in-line and connector types may be used. With the in-line type, a device that looks similar to a fiber patch cable is terminated by two connectors. With the connector type fixed attenuator, a male end and female end are present on the device. With both types, regular connectors of an identical type are mated with the attenuator.
With the variable attenuator, a variable neutral density filter is present to allow for a range of attenuation. As compared to the fixed attenuator, the variable type is known for its stability and insensitivity to wavelengths and modes. As a result, such attenuators are often used for conducting testing and measurement, as well as equalizing light power for varying channels of Erbium-Doped Fiber Amplifiers (EDFAs). Similar to the fixed attenuator as well, the variable attenuator comes in two distinct types, those being the stepwise variable and continuously variable attenuator. With the stepwise type, the level of attenuation for the system can be adjusted in small increments of dB. The continuously variable attenuator, on the other hand, allows for more flexible adjustment with high precision.
With either fixed or variable type fiber optic attenuators, power level margins of fiber optic devices can be tested and managed for the benefit of the transmitter and receiver. With a better understanding of fiber optic attenuators and the roles that they play, finding the correct solution for your needs can be made much easier. At One Click Purchasing, we can provide you with competitive pricing and rapid lead-times on all of the fiber optic devices and electronics that you need for your project and operations. With over 2 billion items in stock, customers can find new, used, and obsolete components that serve a diverse set of applications and industries. Explore our robust part catalogues at your leisure, and you may begin the purchasing process at any time by filling out and submitting an Instant RFQ form as provided through our website. Get started today and experience how One Click Purchasing can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for all of your operational needs.
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