Lightning Strikes and 100G Transport

Aerial fiber plays an important role in the global fiber infrastructure. While cheaper to deploy compared to buried fiber, an obvious challenge for aerial fiber is the exposure to harsh environmental conditions, including thunderstorms. While legacy direct detect transmission technology such as 10Gbps is inherently immune to perturbations caused by severe weather, coherent technology with bit rates exceeding 100Gbps presents new challenges. This white paper discusses the physics of fiber perturbations due to lightning strikes, the resulting challenges for coherent transponders, and how new technology solutions deliver superior resilience to adverse conditions.

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