FTO designs and manufactures fiber optic bundles using various types of fibers featuring:
- all-silica (ie. quartz), plastic-clad silica, borosilicate glass, fluoride and all plastic (POF)
- Numerical apertures (NAs) of 0.10 to 0.66
- Wavelength range from 180nm to 5500nm
A fiber optic bundle is an assembly of multiple optical fibers. The fibers of the bundle are usually held together at one end, and may be separated into multiple branches at the other end.
Due to their multi-fiber construction, bundles offer more flexibility in light management than patchcords.
- split light from a source into several outputs;
- merge light from several sources into a single output;
- reconfigure the shape of light beam to adapt it to particular conditions (from round to rectangular, for example);
- redistribute input light intensity (to make it more uniform at the output, for example).
Optical fiber bundles also offer greater physical flexibility compared to a rigid and fragile very large core fiber (over 1mm). A bundle of 19 200um fibers has roughly the same diameter, but is much more flexible.
These assemblies consist of multiple optical fibers tightly packed into a round bundle at both ends. Individual fibers are randomly distributed from one end to the other. Typical fiber counts are chosen to optimize the packing fraction: 7, 19, 37 and 61 fibers, with lengths ranging from 0.5 to 60 meters. As an additional option, individual fibers can have their buffer stripped to further enhance packing efficiency. Depending on the fiber type and number of strands used, optical fiber bundles offer either improved light throughput or greater flexibility as compared to standard single fiber assemblies.
In these assemblies, all constituent fibers are packed together at one end and divided
into two or more branches at the other end. Individual fibers among the branches can be routed randomly, scrambled, or mapped to obtain the desired distribution at the common end. For even more flexibility, each branch can have a different termination. Standard lengths are from 0.5 to 5 meters.
Multi-branch fiber optic bundles can be used to either split light into several beams, or to combine light from several inputs into a single beam.