Presently available techniques for splicing optical fibers are reviewed. Methods for aligning fibers for splicing include the use of tubes, grooved substrates and precision pins. After the fibers are aligned, they are either held together by adhesives or fixtures, or they are welded by melting and fusing the ends together. In the case of cables with a large number of fibers, multi-fiber splicing considerations will impact heavily on cable design. Several multi-fiber splicing techniques achieve losses of only a few tenths dB indicating that early efforts directed at obtaining small transverse offsets and low loss have been successful. In order to obtain low splice loss in practical fiber optic systems, close attention will need to be directed toward fiber manufacturing tolerances. Indeed, mismatch in fiber parameters due to manufacturing variations may turn out to be a significant source of splice loss, thereby causing splicing requirements to impact on fiber design and fiber manufacturing. Future investigators will undoubtedly focus on the long term environmental stability of splices to determine which materials and methods provide practical fiber splices with adequate service life in the field.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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