Australia’s Leading Network Solutions & Distribution Company

OSA is Australia’s No. 1 independently owned designer and distributor of world-class network solutions. We have been supplying communications products and support services to various market verticals for decades. It’s no question that our networking solutions are vital in today’s modern networks.

But did you know fibre optic technology has been around for much longer?

Let’s take a look at the history of fibre optic solutions and how they have become a core and groundbreaking technology for current vertical markets…

The birth of fibre optic solutions

The birth of fibre optic solutions

Our journey begins during the time of the Romans. The Romans were already drawing glass into fibre in 27BC! Their technology was a step ahead of its time.

But it wasn’t until the 1790s that two French brothers invented the first optical telegraph. This telegraph was made up of towers outfitted with a series of lights that operators could use to relay messages back and forth.

It was from this moment that the impact of fibre optic solutions would change technology and optical science forever…

Let there be light

Let there be light

Many inventors across the centuries began to experiment with early forms of fibre optics. Their wild innovations led to creating light sources, improving medicine and the birth of the television!

In the 1840s, physicists Daniel Collodon and Jacques Babinet proved that direct light can pierce through jets of water for fountain displays at night. They were followed in 1854 by another physicist, John Tyndall, who demonstrated the same transmission of light, but through a curved stream of water.

Thanks to their discoveries, light became a groundbreaking medium and opened up a world of capabilities for technology…

But discoveries continued. In 1880, William Walter tried his hand at creating a series of ‘light pipes’. These pipes used reflective coatings that illuminated homes by utilising light from an electric arc lamp.

Little did these physicists and innovators realise, they were illuminating the path for light as an effective channel of transmission. This was the first step to carrying data and transmitting messages.

Bent glass rods and their success

Bent glass rods and their success

As fibre optic technology developed, a new industry made room for its capabilities. Medicine, in particular surgery, welcomed its groundbreaking technology.

In 1888, physicians Roth and Reuss from Vienna used bent glass rods to illuminate body cavities. French engineer Henri Saint-Rene followed, utilising a series of bent glass rods for guiding light images.

A decade later, American David Smith patented a dental illuminator which also utilised bent glass rods.

Thanks to their technology, surgeries became more successful. But its growing success slowly made its way to new innovations of technology and industries…

Transmitting images for television

Transmitting images for television

It wasn’t until 1930 that the race to develop groundbreaking fibre optics technology truly started. The birth of the television introduced inventors a new avenue to experiment.

The list of achievements grew…

John Logie Baird used transparent rods to transmit images for television…

Meanwhile, Clarence W. Hansell used a similar method to create facsimiles…

Heinrich Lamm successfully transmitted an image through a bundle of fibres…

In 1954, Abraham van Heel produced a fibre system which greatly reduced signal interference between fibres…

As technology developed, it slowly became what we know as modern fibre cabling.

The success of lasers and single-mode fibres

The success of lasers and single-mode fibres

In the 1960s, the laser was introduced as a more efficient and precise way of transmitting light. Improving upon the use of standard light, this would open the doors to new technological possibilities.

In 1961, Elias Snitzer published a theory to describe single mode fibres. These fibres are so small, they can carry light within a single waveguide mode. He demonstrated the use of laser through glass fibre, which also played a role in medical applications.

Despite Elias’s discovery, it wasn’t suitable for telecommunications as it suffered from significant light loss, meaning long-distance transmission wouldn’t have been possible.

However, in 1964, Charles Kao and George Hockman resolved this issue. They demonstrated, albeit only theoretically, how the removal of impurities within glass fibres could reduce light loss.

In 1970, scientists at the Corning Glass Works were able to create a version of this idea successfully. They created the first real functioning single mode fibre which had less than 20dB/km attenuation.

The telecommunications industry boomed, and fibre optics solutions were now being taken seriously.

Communication networks solutions

Communication networks solutions

The 1980s saw a complete transformation in communication networks.

Telephone companies began to use fibre extensively in their communication networks. Technologies such as SMF (Single-Mode Fibre) and injection lasers were also developed. These technologies were designed to transmit 565Mbps to 2.5 Gbps over a 100km distance.

Digital fibre networks were also being implemented and between the late 80s and early 90s, erbium-doped fibre amplifiers were introduced. These devices amplified an optical signal directly, without the need to first convert it to an electrical signal.

With this technology, distances of nearly 1000km could be reached at 2.5 and 10Gbps!

In 1991, optical amplifiers were being built into fibre optic cables. This supported more than 100 times more information than a cable with electronic amplifiers.

During the same year, photonic crystal fibre also emerged. This allowed power to be carried more efficiently than by conventional fibres.

These days, modern fibre optics solutions are greatly impacting communication networks across multiple industries.

OSA’s world-class Fibre Optic Solutions

OSA’s world-class Fibre Optic Solutions

OSA’s extensive range of world-class Fibre Optic Solutions encompasses the entire connectivity range from optical cables, to connectorised systems, underground and IP rated joints.

All of our products are world class, guaranteeing high performance each and every time for our clients’ networks, regardless of the size of the job.

We also carry one of the largest ranges of WDM splitters, circulators and attenuators in Australia. And our extensive range of Fibre Optic Solutions is held in stock at every one of our network of warehouses, conveniently located all around Australia.

The Industrial Networks Business Unit within OSA has been established to focus on critical Wired and Wireless network solutions specific to the requirements of industries including Mining & Resources, Energy, Utilities, Infrastructure, Transport, Security & Surveillance and Building Management Systems.

Learn more about our extensive range of fibre optic solutions here.

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