The low optical attenuation of 1.3-μm single-mode fibers in telecommunication systems can be compromised by exposure to ionizing radiation sources. In spite of a number of prior studies characterizing the radiation response of these waveguides,1 there is a large diversity of sensitivities and recovery behaviors. An example is shown in Fig. 1: the initial loss immediately following exposure can vary from 2.5 to 30 dB/km, and the fibers can either recover completely in 24 h or contain permanent losses of as much as 3 dB/ km.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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