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Sep 1, 2022

Developing power-over-fiber communications cable: When total isolation is a good thing

Posted by in categories: electronics, energy

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(PhysOrg.com) — Sometimes total electrical isolation is a good thing — and that’s the idea behind a power-over-fiber (PoF) communications cable being developed by engineers at Sandia National Laboratories.

It’s common to isolate communications between systems or devices by using fiber optic cables, said Steve Sanderson of Sandia’s mobility analysis and technical assessment division. But when power also is required, sending it down a copper wire can at times be a safety issue, and substituting it with battery power may not be suitable or practical, he said.

Sanderson, Titus Appel and Walter Wrye, a former Sandia intern, are co-inventors of a hybrid cable design that uses fiber to send and regulate optical power to the communications electronics integral to the cable. A patent is pending on the design.

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