Fiber Optic - Mechanisms of Attenuation

Mechanisms of Attenuation

Attenuation in fiber optics, also known as transmission loss, is the reduction in intensity of the light beam (or signal) as it travels through the transmission medium. Attenuation coefficients in fiber optics usually use units of dB/km through the medium due to the relatively high quality of transparency of modern optical transmission media. The medium is usually a fiber of silica glass that confines the incident light beam to the inside. Attenuation is an important factor limiting the transmission of a digital signal across large distances. Thus, much research has gone into both limiting the attenuation and maximizing the amplification of the optical signal. Empirical research has shown that attenuation in optical fiber is caused primarily by both scattering and absorption.

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