Security systems, especially for commercial and government facilities, require top-of-the-line technologies to protect a great number of people as well as merchandise, documents, and other valuables. Fiber optics are one way to keep high-security places safe. What exactly are fiber optics? Below is an overview of what they are and their use in security systems.
What Are Fiber Optics?
Fiber optics, also known as fiber optic cables, are long, thin wires of glass bundled together and used to transmit information across a great distance through infrared light. Fiber optics takes the same principles used in flashing a light down a winding hallway. Using total internal reflection, light can travel down the core of the glass wires, bouncing off the sides, to reach the distance. Once the information reaches the monitoring system, an optical receiver translates the signals sent over by the light.
What Are Their Benefits?
Fiber optics have a surprising number of advantages. First, because fiber optics are made of glass and work through light, the individual cables do not interfere with each other like electrical wires might. These wires are also able to be much thinner, almost hair-like, compared to copper wires. They are lighter in weight, less expensive, and longer-lasting than copper wires. They can send messages at a farther distance than copper wires, because fiber optic cables are thinner, and so more can be bundled together. They are also ideal for transmitting digital information.
Fiber Optics in Security
In security systems, fiber optics are often used to secure a facility’s perimeters. A fiber optics system may be roped around a property and secured at intervals to a fence. An infrared light shines through the cables. If any disturbance occurs to the light, such as a bending or breaking of the light, the system will notify the monitoring system at once. Sometimes, an intruder may only slightly bend the wire to gain entry, and the system will not detect the change. However, there are ways to amplify the change so that the monitor can detect the slightest disturbances. A fiber optics system is also used for relying images through security cameras. In the military, residential homes, and retail stores, fiber optics is a vital way that people can communicate without detection and stay safe.
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