A Gap Loss Attenuator (GLA) is an optical attenuator that reduces the optical power level when inserted in-line in the fiber cable path. GLA’s exploit the principle of gap loss, which is the loss of optical power that occurs when a signal is sent through an optical fiber cable. This loss occurs when light waves travel across the gap between two sections of the cable, and can be attributed to the reflective and refractive properties of the materials that make up the gap.
When an optical signal is sent through a fiber cable, the signal encounters a gap between the two sections of the cable. This gap is composed of the core of the cable, the cladding, and the jacket. When light passes through the gap, some of the light is absorbed, reflected, or refracted by the materials that make up the gap. This loss results in a decrease in the optical power level of the transmitted signal, which can lead to signal degradation.
In order to prevent signal degradation caused by gap loss, an optical attenuator such as a GLA can be inserted in-line in the fiber cable path. A GLA works by absorbing some of the light that passes through the gap between the two sections of the cable. This reduces the optical power level of the signal, thus preventing it from becoming saturated at the receiver.
GLA’s are a cost-effective and reliable solution for reducing optical power levels in fiber cables. They are relatively easy to install and require minimal maintenance. Furthermore, they can be used to provide precise control over the optical power level of the signal, ensuring that it does not become saturated at the receiver.