Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
the research laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Joseph A. Hull

Abstract: The National Communications System (NCS) is responsible for defining reasonable enhancements that could be applied to commercial common carrier (or carriers' –carrier) fiber optic systems that will be leased or owned by government agencies and which may be used for National Security/Emergency Preparedness (NSEP) purposes. This report provides background excerpted from many references used in the development of a mu1titier specification that identifies five levels of enhancement. (The multitier specification is presented in a separate report.) This report describes the nuclear environment for surface and in–atmosphere bursts outside of the blast region, where buildings and personnel would be expected to survive. In this environment, the vulnerability of optical fiber waveguides to fallout radiation is a primary concern. An assessment of fiber darkening, based on a review of unclassified literature, is presented. For exoatmospheric nuclear bursts, the fiber optic system is exposed to High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) radiation. Unclassified levels of these nuclear effects have been obtained from published literature. The characteristics of future generations of optical fiber systems, as described in current literature, are outlined.

Keywords: common carrier optical fiber systems; fiber optic systems; gamma radiation darkening; National Security/Emergency Preparedness; nuclear effects

To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Lilli Segre, Publications Officer
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3572

Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

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