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Working Principle of Fiber Fusion Splicer: How to Calibrate the Fusion Splicer

Date: 09, May, 2023
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With the development of modern communication, optical fiber cables have replaced copper cables. Optical fibers are made of glass and connecting them during installation is a problem that can be solved with an optical fiber fusion splicer. The optical fiber fusion splicer uses high-temperature discharges to melt the glass and connect the fibers together, which is where its value lies.

The main types of optical fiber fusion splicers are single-core and ribbon

A single-core fiber is a single fiber, while a ribbon is several or even a dozen single-core fibers combined into a ribbon fiber. A single-core fusion splicer can fuse multiple-mode, special-dispersion optical fibers and more. The principle of fusing optical fibers is the same for different types of fibers. For example, in the fusion of a single-core fiber on a backbone cable, multiple small fusion points are eventually combined into one large loss. This is more pronounced in fusion splicers with poor fusion effects. Other factors that can affect the quality of a fusion splicer include the fusion speed, CCD display effect, and overall wear resistance.

The working principle of an optical fiber fusion splice

When parallel light is irradiated from the side onto an optical fiber, refraction occurs, and images of the core, cladding, and the cladding-air interface can be observed. The microscope can observe the horizontal and vertical images of the fiber. The objective lens is focused on the charge-coupled device to obtain an analog video signal, which is then converted to a digital signal through an analog-to-digital circuit. The microprocessor inside the fusion splicer processes and recognizes the image, displaying the alignment status of the core and cladding. The electrode pre-discharges to clean the end face of the optical fiber, and the electrode discharge melts the end face of the spliced fiber, using the force between quartz molecules to connect them.

The fusion splicing of optical fibers follows three principles: basic fusion principle, alignment principle (PAS system), and loss estimation principle.

Basic fusion principle

The principle of the optical fiber fusion splicer is relatively simple. First, the optical fiber fusion splicer must correctly identify the fiber core and align it accurately, and then the fiber is melted using the high-voltage discharge arc between the electrodes.

Alignment principle (PAS system)

The large circle is the fiber cladding, and the small circle is the fiber core. The line connecting the cladding focus and the core focus is the position of the objective lens.

Loss estimation principle

The estimation of fusion splicing loss is calculated based on factors such as the misalignment and deformation of the fiber core joint and the presence of bubbles. The actual loss must be measured using instruments such as light sources, optical power meters, or OTDRs.

How to calibrate an optical fiber fusion splicer

Brightness detection

The LED light intensity is automatically adjusted.

Focus adjustment

This can correct the camera motor for precise focusing adjustment.

Motor calibration

The motor speed is automatically calibrated.

Stable electrode

This is necessary when the environment changes significantly or when the electrode rod has been removed for maintenance, as it can correct the electrode position and screen position relationship and adjust the electrode's function.

Discharge calibration

If large welding losses or cleaning the electrode rod are found during daily use, this should be done to automatically calibrate the electrode discharge strength and optical fiber fusion position.

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