Proceedings PaperHigh Transmittance Long Fiber Optics
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There has been a demand in recent years for fibers up to 100 feet in length having high transmittance and able to withstand severe vibrations and high temperatures. High transmittance glasses most widely used for the fiber core have been the lead flint glasses such as Schott F2. We have on occasion been able to obtain absorption coefficients as low as 0.05 per foot using this F2 glass, but the absorption increases rapidly as the fibers are heated. Furthermore, these glasses have softening points which limit their use at elevated temperatures. Several new glasses have been developed having high transmittance and able to withstand the higher temperatures. Data on the spectral transmission as a function of temperature is presented for these glasses, together with their absorption coefficients at the wavelengths of peak transmission. One of these glasses has a transmission over a 100-foot length which is five times greater than that of F2, and has an absorption coefficient of 0.027 to 0.033 per foot at the wavelength of peak transmission. During the past few years considerable advances have been made in the area of fiber optics generally and an accelerated utilization of this technology is anticipated in the future. Fused elements up to one or more inches in overall length are approaching their theoretical maximum performance, but in contrast,the performance of many flexible fiber optics elements, such as "light pipes" and imaging bundles, is very much less than that which can be ultimately achieved.