Hollow-core optical fibers with low back-reflection

A group of scientists from Canada has designed new cutting-edge hollow-core optical fibers that have significantly lower back-reflection than in standard fiber optic systems. This fiber optic technology is very important because it helps to discover new optical fiber properties that overcome previous disadvantages.

To be more precise, the development of advanced optical fibers promotes different photonic applications. Herewith, such a fiber optic technology allows for increasing the performance that significantly depends on optical fibers and can overcome the current limits. 

The thing is that the operating principle is based on the laser beam light that is put into an optical fiber. The light is then reflected as it expands. This is a backscattering process. “This backscattering is often highly undesirable as it causes attenuation of signals propagating down the optical fiber and limits the performance of numerous fiber optic systems, such as optical gyroscopes that direct airliners, submarines, and spacecraft.”

Nonetheless, such an opportunity to reliably and precisely measure the backscattering process can be useful for some applications. For instance, the backscatter of fiber optic cables enables to control of the condition of the fiber cable and detects the location of any damages along its length.

Therefore, novel hollow-core fibers in fiber optic systems have been already tested in new fields of application and demonstrated a pretty low level of backscattering that up until this point it remained unmeasurable. According to scientists, they have designed a fiber optic system that helps to reliably measure very weak signals that are back-scattered in hollow-core optical fibers.

Finally, this measurement demonstrates over four orders of magnitude lower than in conventional fibers. Scientists have succeeded to develop optical fibers with the lowest-loss and longest-length ever made. The fiber optic technology aims at the measurement of particular features of novel optical fibers.

The test results affirm the fact that backscattering in novel hollow-core optical fibers is 10.000 times lower than in traditional all-glass counterparts. Thus, these fiber optic systems leave them behind in numerous applications. It should be noted that the opportunity to measure these low backscattered signal levels plays a crucial role.

The fact is that the fiber optic technology promotes distributed fault-finding in fabricated hollow-core fibers and fiber optic cables required to advance improvements in their manufacturing processes. Compared to novel optical fibers, the current technology is considered to be not so sensitive.

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