The splicing of individual optical fibers with low joint loss and the severe requirements on multi-fiber cable connectors can be met by mechanical fiber alignment procedures if the tolerances on fiber diameter uniformity are tight. Conventional drawing equipment is capable of providing fibers that have a standard deviation (a) of diameter of about ±1%, assuming the operator has a great deal of experience and the system is frequently tuned. For a nominal 100 micron communications fiber in a connectorized cable, a variation of ±3 microns (3a) of fiber diameter leads to unacceptable losses and high system costs.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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