The assignee for this patent application is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates generally to a visual tracer system for a cable, such as a data-transmission cable, electrical cable, fiber optic cable, etc.
"Fiber optic cable assemblies may range in size and complexity from single-fiber jumpers to multi-fiber harnesses. These cable assemblies are typically used to interconnect equipment in high-speed networks. A common problem in these networks is congestion and clutter caused by large quantities of the cables. FIG. 1 shows an example of congestion in an equipment rack 110. FIG. 2 shows congestion in an under-floor cable tray 210. Network operators frequently desire to change optical connections to accommodate moves, adds, and changes in the network. However, such congestion makes it difficult to trace a particular assembly from the source to the receiver, which may be required to perform the moves, adds, and changes in the network. Other types of cables may have similar problems.
"Some systems to visually trace individual cables in congested areas of cables include light-emitting diode (LED) tracks that extend along the length of the individual cable that, when activated, produce light that may be used to identify the particular cable. However, such systems may be cumbersome to manufacture and use. For example, the LED system may need to be separately installed after extrusion of the cable, requiring additional manufacturing steps. Also, the LED system may require a supplemental power system and controls, such as activation features integrated with a specialized connector for the optical fiber cable, which increase the costs and complexity of manufacturing and using such LED systems.
"A need exists for a system to visually trace an optical fiber cable, such as a particular one in a congested arrangement of many optical fiber cables, where the associated cable can be quickly and efficiently manufactured, requires fewer auxiliary components to operate, and/or can be integrated with existing high-speed network or data center hardware."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "One embodiment relates to a fiber optic cable, which includes a first optical fiber, a jacket, and a second optical fiber. The first optical fiber includes a glass core and cladding. The glass core is configured to provide controlled transmission of light through the fiber optic cable for high-speed data communication. The jacket has an interior surface that defines a conduit through which the first optical fiber extends. The jacket further has an exterior surface that defines the outside of the fiber optic cable. The second optical fiber is integrated with the exterior surface of the jacket.
"Another embodiment relates to a jacket for a cable. The jacket includes an interior surface, an exterior surface, and an optical fiber. The interior surface defines a conduit configured to house a transmission element. The optical fiber is integrated with the exterior surface of the jacket. Further, the optical fiber is configured to release, along a length of the optical fiber, at least some of light passed through the optical fiber such that the released light is visible along the exterior surface of the jacket, thereby providing a visual trace.
"Yet another embodiment relates to a method of manufacturing a cable. The method includes steps of extruding a jacket and integrating an optical fiber with an exterior of the jacket. The optical fiber is configured to release, along a length of the optical fiber, at least some of light passed through the optical fiber such that the released light is visible along the exterior surface of the jacket, thereby providing a visual trace.
"Additional features and advantages will be set forth in the Detailed Description which follows, and in part will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the description or recognized by practicing the embodiments as described in the written description and claims hereof, as well as the appended drawings. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following Detailed Description are merely exemplary, and are intended to provide an overview or framework to understand the nature and character of the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
"The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate one or more embodiment(s), and together with the Detailed Description serve to explain principles and operation of the various embodiments. As such, the disclosure will become more fully understood from the following Detailed Description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying Figures, in which:
"FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an equipment rack supporting fiber optic cables.
"FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an under-floor cable tray supporting fiber optic cables.
"FIGS. 3-11 are sectional end views of fiber optic cables according to various exemplary embodiments.
"FIGS. 12-14 are side views of fiber optic cables according to various exemplary embodiments.
"FIGS. 15-16 are side sectional views of fiber optic cables according to various exemplary embodiments.
"FIG. 17 is a perspective view of an external light source and a fiber optical cable according to an exemplary embodiment.
"FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a lighting device and a fiber optic cable according to an exemplary embodiment."
For more information, see this patent application: Dean, JR.,
Keywords for this news article include: Networks.
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