Cabling Installation & Maintenance

Free space optics: not your typical wireless connection: the laser-based technology offers more secure transmissions for a variety of applications.(security)

Though the concept has existed for decades and products have been available for several years, the technology and hardware that allow free space optical (FSO) transmission have just recently begun to gain wide attention within structured cabling circles. Today, a combination of technological advancements, ease-of-use characteristics, and budgetary considerations are all helping to advance the cause of FSO.

An FSO system generally has a simple set-up: two laser-based transceivers, which look somewhat like video surveillance cameras, each mounted to a structure and pointed at one another. An existing optical-fiber network plugs directly into each transceiver, creating a continuous circuit. Line-of-sight between the two transceivers is necessary for the connection to be made and the transceivers to function.

In most of the projects in which it is deployed, FSO is chosen because a network's physical environment makes connectivity via cable either impossible or impractical. It is often a body of water, an abutter's property, a city street, or another obstacle that stands between two points needing connectivity, and makes laying optical-fiber cable either physically unattainable or fiscally unimaginable.

Fog wars

FSO systems typically are mounted on rooftops to ensure line of sight, but the systems can also operate through windows. Uncontrollable environmental factors can adversely affect FSO transmission, and fog is generally regarded as the most significant. …

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