The use of optical fibers for high-speed data transmission is one of the state-of-the-art technologies holding up the Internet structure
The use of optical fibers for high-speed data transmission is one of the state-of-the-art technologies holding up the Internet structure. Photo: www.neoteo.comZoom
Developed in late 1970s, the optical fiber revamped global telecommunications. This technology is based in the transmission of light signals through electromagnetic waves, turned into electrical impulses which are decoded by receivers.
Data transmission is relatively easy this way, being made through the use of sound communication, digital information or cable TV.
Meanwhile, optical fiber is used in sensors for measuring tension, temperature and other atmospheric parameters. It is also useful in seismic detection and in the production of hydrophones, devices destined for the oil industry and others, where they can determine temperature and the pressure of wells.
In aviation, it is used by the Boeing Company in the gyroscope, destined for the airplane stabilization.
Another use the optical fibre is the illumination of any space, and this function is suitable due to its absence of electricity and heat, the possibility of adopting colors and the flexibility allowing the extension of cables so as to illuminate bigger spaces with a single lamp.
This material is also present in the medical endoscopes, this uneasy but necessary device which allows the physicians look inside our bodies in spaces where it would be impossible to do so in a natural manner.
One of the most curious uses of it has can be found in the translucent concrete, invented by the Hungarian architect Ron Losonczi, consisting in a mixture of concrete and optical fiber forming a new material with concrete solidness but, presenting the peculiarity of letting light pass through.
In addition to all these applications, optical fiber has become the best way for large-scale and rapid data transmission, so it is an essential component in what is known as the great World Wide Web: Internet.
According to the International Telecommunication Union, below 40 percent out of more than seven billion inhabitants of the world are connected to Internet, in which the developed countries are the most favored, alongside some others known as “emerging economies”.
However, connectivity isn´t tantamount to velocity, something that in various analysts´ opinions is a debt for mankind if the evolution in this field is desired.
When in academic fields the discussions is about the transit toward a more audiovisual web, just a few countries have been able to adopt a bandwidth which allows high-speed file downloads and uploads, needed for video display and massive data transmission.
The leader in this field is South Korea, with a 97 percent of bandwidth adoption and 23.5 megabytes per second on download speed average, as indicated in last Akami US corporation, specialized in measuring the state of the Internet.
The success of the Asian nation is based on the massive implementation of optical fiber networks for data transmission, stemming from companies with high impact on the World of Information and Communication Technologies.
Looking ahead, the introduction of computers in our lives, besides being undeniable, is greater all the time. It goes as far as the recent implementation of interconnected devices used in what is known today as the Internet of things, while in other parts of the planet, specifically in the cities, more “smart” designs are underway.
All this technological phenomenon breeds a great deal of data which is transmitted through optical fiber or other top-notch technologies like the Li-Fi, which uses light in wireless networks, although the latter is not exploited on a large scale. Hence the optimization of computer networks is needed.A Smart City
In the United States, Kansas City has gradually become a technological point of reference. Since companies like Microsoft and Garmin established headquarters there in the 1970s, the city has been shaped into a great technological center.
With last years´ communicational boom, local authorities and businessmen have joined efforts to develop a “smart” city from a coalition known as KC Next.
The chairman of the entity, Ryan Weber, told Juventud Rebelde that according to this project, Kansas City will become more efficient with the installation of systems able to control, for instance, the illumination of its streets. “When we all go to bed the lights of the city stay on. If we install a system able to detect motion we could make lights work according to the traffic necessities”, explained Weber.
Something similar would be applied to the systems of garbage collection in the city, where tanks with sensors could indicate the related-company where the garbage collection is needed, avoiding this way going to places where it isn’t needed.
At the same time, in Kansas City a street car service is today being built with wireless technology to send information to bystanders’ mobiles.
Along this route digital stands with relevant information for passers-by will be installed, explained Kansas City´s communication municipal manager Chris Hernández.
All this will be possible, largely, due to the connectivity development furthered by optical fiber networks, which were experimentally taken up by Google, that giant of the Internet, three years ago. Translated by ESTI