The type of polish on a fiber affects the overall performance of a fiber optic system. Two main factors related to fiber polish are insertion loss and back reflection. Insertion loss refers to the fiber optic light lost when connecting equipment because of misaligned cores and air gaps. Back reflection refers to light being reflected back towards the source. This happens because of the different light refractive qualities of glass and air. Fiber with lesser quality polishes are subject to more insertion loss and back reflection.
There are three main types of polishes that are currently used. They are physical contact (PC), ultra physical contact (UPC), and angled physical contact (APC). Each has its own performance characteristics as far as insertion loss and back reflection are concerned.
|Polish Type||Back Reflection||Insertion Loss|
|Physical Contact (PC)||-40dB||0.20 - 0.30dB|
|Ultra Physical Contact (UPC)||-55dB||0.20 - 0.30dB|
|Angled Physical Contact (APC)||-65dB||0.25 - 0.35dB|
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