The next level of broadcast and harsh environment fibre optic connectivity
Warren & Brown Technologies (WBT) is a wholly Australian owned and operated designer and manufacturer of telecommunications network connectivity infrastructure that takes pride in developing solutions for challenging environments and helping customers establish and maintain reliable fibre optic networks. WBT offers a range of expanded beam fibre optic connectors that have been engineered for harsh environments, broadcast and industrial applications.
The technology used in expanded beam connectors offers a powerful and flexible solution designed for use in harsh environments including mining, oil and gas, and defence, where reliability and optical performance can sometimes be hard to achieve. This solution is also one of the most common types of connectivity used for broadcast applications and can easily be adopted in traditional networking applications that require a higher bandwidth, ruggedised form factor and pre-terminated, plug and play connectivity.
Unlike typical fibre optic connectors, there is no physical contact between the connectors. Expanded beam fibre optic connectors use a precision lens on one mating end to expand and collimate the light emitting from an optical fibre, with a matching lens on the other mating end collecting and refocusing the optical beam into the core of the receiving fibre.
Expanding and collimating the light beam results in a much larger active area than the original optical fibre core, rendering the connector less sensitive to contaminants that could easily disrupt transmission between standard type connectors. The non-contact connectors enable high accuracy connections over thousands of mating cycles without affecting optical performance.
While the connector design plays an important part in the reliability of a harsh environment fibre optic connector, the most critical factor is its ability to withstand the conditions in harsh environments. The robust construction of WBT expanded beam connectors provides resistance to dirt, dust, mud, water, oil and other contaminants.
This ruggedised design also minimises the effects of shock, mechanical vibration and environmental issues. You could even run over the connectors with a truck and be assured that it would not affect the optimal performance!
When comparing expanded beam connectors to traditional optical connectors, there are many factors that need to be considered. Traditional optical connectors require regular cleaning and maintenance that can only be performed by specially trained technicians in order to maintain optical performance. And even with regular maintenance, traditional connectors performance will still degrade over the product life, eventually leading to signal failure.
While the non-contact design in expanded beam connectors can result in higher insertion losses than standard connectors, the optical performance of expanded beam connectors is constant throughout the product life and the likelihood of product failure is greatly reduced.
WBT expanded beam connectors have a protective window so that the connector is easy to clean, without the need for special servicing or cleaning equipment, and have been proven to withstand extreme environment conditions. The protective lenses ensure that no damage or degradation can occur, making them ideal for field use in severe conditions.
Another benefit of expanded beam connectors is the use of a hermaphroditic design rather than traditional male and female connectors. This allows multiple cables to be directly connected without adaptors (daisy chaining), allowing for simple and flexible connections. These connectors minimise the logistical problems of handling changing requirements within various applications.
WBT has partnered with QPC to provide pre-assembled off the shelf connectors in both singlemode and multimode as well as offering fully custom designed and manufactured product solutions to meet your network requirements.
One of the major advantages that WBT offers in the local market, is its ability to quickly terminate and repair existing cables, as well as support new deployments.
Product and connector options include:
- QBeam expanded beam connector — 4 channel
- QFOCA enhanced hermaphroditic tactical connector — based on the MIL-C-83526/16 specification
- Qplex 2 — 16 channel expanded beam connector
- QPC Qmini expanded beam fibre optic connector — 2 and 4 channels, meets requirements of MIL-PRF-83526
- QPC Qmicro expanded beam fibre optic connector — 2 and 4 channels, intermateable with Tyco pro beam mini and Telecast MX connectors
- Suitable military and broadcast cable to suit various connector options in multimode or singlemode.
For more information, visit: https://wbnetworks.com.au/products/harsh-environment.html
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