Robust connector interface for fiber optic cables in demanding environments


In an increasingly networked world where data streams are ubiquitous, traditional cable connections often reach their limits. In data centers, fiber optic cables are the solution for increasing bandwidth requirements, and fiber optic connections are also becoming increasingly popular in harsh environments. Challenges for connectors in this environment include dust, extreme temperatures, vibrations and other stresses. These pose a threat to the reliability of conventional fiber optic connections. However, there are solutions that guarantee a secure fiber optic connection even under extreme conditions.

Robust fiber optic connections for applications outside the data center

In protected environments such as data centers, fiber optic cables have already become the standard. However, in industrial environments, aviation, medical technology and other sectors where extreme conditions prevail, traditional fiber optic connections were often not sufficiently robust and too complicated to handle. However, the increasing demand for high and fast data transmission does not stop at these areas. A wide range of industries require reliable fiber optic connections that can withstand the high demands:

  • Industry 4.0: Highly automated industrial production requires unlimited availability of data from a variety of sources.
  • Aerospace: A large number of highly sensitive sensors and remote applications provide a vast amount of data that needs to be processed, stored and transmitted.
  • Medical technology: Image data from digital X-ray, MRI and CT as well as patient monitoring require enormous bandwidths for reliable transmission.
  • Transportation: Fiber optic cables are particularly in demand in transport and railroad technology due to their galvanic isolation and insensitivity to electromagnetic interference.
  • Mining, oil and gas production: Highly complex technical systems require reliable data transmission that can withstand extreme environmental conditions.
  • Broadcast: Immense amounts of data during the transmission of live events require robust fiber optic connections that can withstand numerous mating cycles.
  • Defense: Military defense and communication systems have high bandwidth requirements and must withstand extreme environmental conditions.

EBO - Expanded Beam Optical technology for reliable signal transmission

To meet this need, the industry has developed robust connection technologies. One example of this is Expanded Beam Optical (EBO) technology, which uses beam expansion to make fiber optic connections less sensitive to contamination. With this technology, the light at the end of the fiber is expanded into a parallel beam of light via lens optics and bundled again on the opposite side. This minimizes impurities that could block the light beam, enabling reliable signal transmission even in dusty environments.


Long service life and reliability with the Size 12 lens connector

EBO technology thus opens up new possibilities for the use of fiber optic cables in harsh environments where regular maintenance of the connections is not possible or economically feasible. It also enables a flexible connector design that meets the requirements of a wide range of industries. In addition to ready-made EBO connectors, there are also lens plug contacts such as the Size 12 plug contact, which can integrate EBO technology into their own connector designs. These are insensitive to soiling, offer a long service life of up to 100,000 mating cycles and enable reliable data transmission even under extreme conditions.


Equipped for the requirements of a wide range of industries

It goes without saying that these components must comply with the general norms and standards for fiber optic cables as well as the special standards for individual industries. The Size 12 lens connector from Rosenberger OSI is an example of such a high-quality component that meets the requirements of a wide range of industries. It is characterized by its robustness, long service life and easy handling and is suitable for use in round and rectangular connectors in accordance with relevant standards such as MIL-DTL-38999.


At a time when data transmission is becoming increasingly important, EBO technology offers a solution for the use of fiber optics in demanding environments. With high-quality connectors such as the Size 12 lens connector, companies can be sure that their fiber optic connections will function reliably even under extreme conditions.


Author: Max Komarow, Product manager at Rosenberger OSI

Max Komarow has been with Rosenberger OSI for 10 years. After several years in product development, he is now Product Manager for the Industrial division.