What is tactical fiber optic cable?

tactical fiber cable

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1. What is tactical fiber optic cable?

Tactical fiber optic cable is an optical communication trunk line that can be easily retracted in the field. It is mainly used for group information transmission between switching nodes in the field integrated communication system, and between switching nodes and user centers, and as a lead device for wireless relay equipment. The transmission line can also be used as a transmission means for occasions where anti-interference and electromagnetic shielding are particularly strict.

2. Tactical fiber optic cable assembly (TFOCA)

In order to facilitate rapid deployment, tactical fiber optic cables usually appear as fiber optic cable assemblies, including tactical fiber optic cable, fiber optic cable connectors, and take-up and release racks. For easy portability, the outer diameter of the tactical fiber optic cable is small and the weight is light.
tactical fiber

3. The development trend of tactical fiber optic cable

  • Tactical fiber optic cable basically adopts the tight buffer structure to form the optical fiber unit of 0.9-1mm. The reinforcing elements are mainly aramid fibers, and some are accompanied by fiber-reinforced plastic rods. Most sheaths are made of flame-retardant polyurethane, but also neoprene and polyester.
  • An optical cable structure is used to accommodate fiber types (such as multi-mode fiber, single-mode fiber, dispersion-shifted single-mode fiber, large-core fiber, etc.), and the fiber is coated to form a fiber unit with a unified appearance, so as to meet different usage requirements.
  • There are more and more demands for the use of tactical fiber optic cable in various industries, and the use of anti-nuclear reinforced optical fibers is required to meet the needs of future wars.

4. Structural characteristics of tactical fiber optic cable

Tactical fiber optic cable is generally composed of high-strength tight-buffered optical fiber, aramid fiber tensile component, metal armor (depending on usage), and flame-retardant polyurethane outer sheath (or PE, PVC, LSZH).

  • Tactical fiber optic cable adopts a compact all-dielectric wiring structure, with a 0.9mm tight-buffered optical fiber, which makes the optical cable have a very high strength-to-weight ratio, which is convenient for rapid wiring or repeated retraction.
  • The high-strength optical fiber secondary coating of the composite structure, the tactical optical cable provides the best temperature performance and the smallest additional attenuation, ensuring the reliability and service life of the optical cable under harsh conditions.
  • Special high-strength, flexible glass fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) center reinforcing component, tactical optical cable ensures the strength and bending performance of the optical cable.
  • The large-area aramid reinforced fiber in the tactical optical cable provides extremely high mechanical strength for the optical cable.
  • The combination of small-pitch SZ twisted tight-buffered fiber without tie-line and single-helix twisted aramid fiber ensures that the tactical optical cable has a large tensile strain capacity.
  • The thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer flame retardant sheath of the tactical optical cable provides the optical cable with good structural stability, compression resistance, abrasion resistance, oil resistance, low-temperature flexibility and flame retardant properties.
    tactical fiber cable military

5. Advantages of tactical fiber optic cable

  • Mechanical properties: small size, lightweight, good anti-electromagnetic interference, anti-radio frequency interference and anti-electromagnetic pulse interference performance, no electromagnetic radiation; good flexibility, easy to use; high tensile strength (can withstand pulling in fast wiring), pressure resistance (pressure resistance value reaches 1000N, can withstand truck rolling), wear resistance; can be retracted many times.
  • Chemical properties: According to the application environment of the tactical optical cable, the outer sheath can be selected with anti-fuel.
  • Environmental performance: The line is quick to set up, has good maneuverability, strong survivability and high tensile strength, and can adapt to wild and complex environments.
  • Compared with the civil optical cable, the tactical optical cable has great advantages in tensile load, compression resistance and repeated bending under the same outer diameter.
  • It can improve the mobility and reliability of military communications and can adapt to communications under nuclear explosion conditions.
  • Good confidentiality, is not easy to be eavesdropped on, which can improve the confidentiality and security of military communications, and is not easy to be damaged by the enemy.

6. Application of tactical fiber optic cable

  • For military wiring: military communications such as radar, aviation and ship wiring
  • For field wiring: suitable for fast wiring or repeated retraction and release of field communication systems
  • For harsh environments with harsh conditions: coal mines, oil wells, natural gas, ports, geological exploration and other harsh conditions
  • Temporary wiring, and may be used for frequent retraction, such as live TV broadcast, emergency repair of communication lines, etc.tactical fiber application

7. Differences between tactical fiber optic cables and armored optical cables
Both tactical fiber optic cables and armored optical cables can be used in harsh environments. What is the difference between tactical fiber optic cables and armored optical cables?

  • In terms of weight, tactical optical cable needs to be relatively light and can be carried by a single person; the armored optical cable will be relatively heavy because mobility does not need to be considered.
  • In terms of quality, the communication requirements of tactical optical cables are relatively low, as long as short-distance communication in the field can be achieved; armored optical cables are required to be able to transmit signals over long distances and accurately.

8. Tactical fiber optic cable and the RRU (Radio Remote Unit) / AAU (Active Antenna System) fiber optic cable

  • Status of the use of RRU/AAU connecting optical cable
    The BBU/DU and RRU/AAU of the base station need to be connected by optical cables. However, RRU/AAU are mostly installed outdoors, such as on iron towers, which requires the connection of optical cable with BBU/DU to have the characteristics of easy connection, outdoor use, safety and reliability.Tactical fiber optic cable meets the above requirements well, so tactical optical cable is widely used for the connection between the BBU/DU and the RRU/AAU of the base station.

    The tactical optical cable is far away from the active connector at the antenna end. In DRAN mode, it is usually directly plugged into the optical module of the BBU/DU equipment baseband board (e)CPRI interface.

    In CRAN mode, it may be plugged into the ODF unit of the base station/outdoor cabinet, or the port of the passive wavelength division multiplexer and demultiplexer, and then connected to the BBU/DU equipment through a common access optical cable.

  • RRU/AAU connection optical cable is messy
    Although the tactical optical cable is used for RRU/AAU connection, its mechanical and protective performance far exceeds the actual needs, but many operators still feel that it is not enough, so a metal armor layer is added to the tactical optical cable, so that its compressive performance is as high as 3000N/100mm; this performance exceeds the direct buried optical cable, reaches the standard of underwater optical cable, and can withstand the rolling of cars. 

    The tensile strength of the single-core optical cable in the field optical cable is relatively low (40N), and it is not resistant to ultraviolet rays. Therefore, when the tactical optical cable is connected to the AAU, an outdoor quick-lock connector should be used to fix the sheath of the tactical optical cable to avoid letting the single-core optical cable direct force. The height of the outdoor quick-lock connector is less than 10cm. When the length of the single-core optical cable branched at both ends of the tactical optical cable exceeds the height of the outdoor quick-lock connector, the outdoor quick-lock connector cannot be fixed on the sheath of the tactical optical cable. It will cause the single-core optical cable at the AAU end to be stressed and exposed to the outdoors.Since the procurement length of a single tactical optical cable is certain, the commonly used ones are 40 meters, 50 meters, 60 meters, 70 meters, and 80 meters. During construction, each optical cable has an extra length of fewer than 10 meters. Usually, a base station contains multiple logical stations, and each logical station needs to deploy at least 3 tactical optical cables. In this way, the total length of the remaining tactical optical cables in a base station may reach more than 100 meters.

    The steel pipe towers that are common on the roadside are basically stuffed with tactical optical cables left in the tower.

  • What kind of fiber optic cable is needed for RRU/AAU connection?
    RRU/AAU connecting optical cable, because it contains metal components, is not suitable for field use. It is actually an outdoor armored fiber jumper, but most people is still used to calling it tactical optical cable.The optical cable for RRU/AAU does not have the characteristics of abrasion resistance, impact resistance, bending resistance, oil resistance and temperature adaptability of tactical optical cable, and its allowable tensile force and flattening force is even lower than the requirements of ordinary tactical communication optical cables. But it needs to be flame retardant.

    The excess length of RRU/AAU optical cable can be controlled by terminating the optical cable at the equipment end (that is, making movable connector plugs). After cutting, just like the FTTH optical cable, the last section of pigtail is spliced on-site to complete the end, and the splicing point is protected with a protective box.

    fiber cable manufaturer

9. Summary

Bonelinks is tactical fiber optic cable manufacturer, our fiber optic cable consists of single-mode or multi-mode fibers, and can be deployed and retreated quickly. High-strength fatigue-resistant optical fibers are used to ensure the reliability and longevity of tactical optical cables in various harsh operating conditions. If you have any needs, please contact us, and we would provide you with the most suitable tactical optical cable solutions.

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