• Technical Conference:  30 March – 03 April 2025
  • Exhibition: 01 – 03 April 2025
  • Moscone Center, San Francisco, California, USA

SC208 - Optical Fiber Design for Telecommunications and Specialty Applications

Sunday, 24 March
08:30 - 12:30 (Pacific Time (US & Canada), UTC - 08:00)

Short Course Level: Advanced Beginner


David J. DiGiovanni, OFS Labs, USA

Short Course Description:

Optical fiber development remains a robust field for innovation in both telecom and non-telecom applications.  As worldwide bandwidth demand continues to grow, new fiber types and fiber-based components can increase speed, reduce cost and improve the bandwidth of communications networks. Beyond applications in communications, application-specific fiber can enable or benefit a wide array of functions such as simply transporting light between two points, amplifying light, processing signals, sensing environmental characteristics and even transporting particles.  The tools available in adapting fiber to particular uses include a range of materials and dopants (glasses, polymers), the mechanics of the fiber (size, coatings, microstructure), waveguiding properties (refractive index and material profile), and creation of various fiber-based devices such as gratings and amplifiers.  These tools have been used to establish an industry that continues to expand as photonics penetrates more and more applications.

This short course will cover the basics of optical propagation and fiber design, as well as the many ways in which optical fibers can be adapted for a wide range of applications.  We will review an array of fiber designs for both transmission and specialty optical fiber and consider the role of materials, waveguide design and fiber structure for both fiber and fiber-based photonic components.   After a review of fiber manufacturing technology and physical properties, we’ll present a brief description of utilization issues such as fusion splicing and cabling.   Trends for next-generation, high bandwidth communications (designs for advanced modulation formats, space division multiplexing, advanced amplification), will be discussed.   Special emphasis will be placed on using the same waveguide and materials principles to adapt fiber for the rapidly growing field of non-communications applications, such as high power fiber lasers, distributed optical sensing, and hollow-core optical fiber.

Short Course Benefits:

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how certain fiber attributes, like attenuation, modal area and dispersion can impact current and next-generation high speed communications technologies
  • Describe the wide array of optical fibers available and discuss how their designs have been engineered for particular applications
  • Compare the benefits of different materials in fiber design, including different glass dopants.
  • Understand the difference between fibers used for different applications, such as transmission fiber, amplifiers, and sensors
  • Determine whether particular applications can benefit from modified or novel optical fiber.
  • Understand the potential offered by fiber engineering which may be exploited to improve existing applications or create new functions, such as sensing and manipulation of light.
  • Understand how fiber is used in a wide range of applications, including fusion splicing, fiber management and cabling.
Short Course Audience:

This course is intended for the technical community seeking to understand the basics of optical fiber and waveguide design and the opportunities to adapt fiber for specific applications.  Basic understanding of optical fiber properties is desirable though not required.  The course will provide an understanding of the operating principles of fiber while also exploring the limits of waveguide and materials engineering.  Specific designs for high speed transmission, optical amplification and fiber lasers will be studied, among others.  Note that SC465 “Transmission Fiber and Cables” has similar background topics but focuses more specifically on transmission for optical communication.


Instructor Biography:

D.J. DiGiovanni received several engineering and mathematics degrees from Brown University, including a PhD in 1987.  He joined Bell Laboratories in 1990 and has worked on various phenomena related to design and manufacture of optical fibers for erbium-doped amplifiers, high power amplifiers and lasers and Raman amplification. He is CTO of OFS Fitel and president of OFS Laboratories and continues to explore designs, fabrication and applications of specialty and transmission optical fibers and devices.