Kcom – inspection & testing of fibre optic networks

Kcom – inspection & testing of fibre optic networks

KCOM is currently rolling out their new ultra-fast fibre optic broadband network “lightstream” to its customers in Hull and the surrounding area. There are many kilometres of cabling which need to be installed to reach each of the customers. These cables need to be joined at appropriate intersections along a network using a process called splicing (there are two methods of splicing both fusion and mechanical). Splicing the joints involves heating the fibre cable up to 4000oC, at which point the fibres with then join.  The splicing of these cables is critical to KCOM being able to uphold excellent customer service.

The SHEQ (Quality) Manager at KCOM has brought the RDUTC student team in as consultants. The students are required to manufacture spliced cable joints, heating fibre optic cable up to 4000oC.  They then need to report on how they can use inspection and testing methods and processes to identify issues during the installation of the joints and the manufacture of the required components to reduce the number of low quality spliced joints.

The quality of the cable joint is dependent upon a number of factors. These include the strength of the joint, the power dissipation of the light signal and the curvature radius of the installation.

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