REMOTE ANTENNA | RF Over Fiber Applications

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Optical RF Applications - Overview

RF Over Fiber technology is used for remote antenna cable replacement. The solution comprises of two (2) parts Tx, which is located usually near the antenna and remote site where the Rx is located. When the distance is short the solution and the installation runs smoothly. However where there is no line of sight and the distance between the Tx and the Rx is long or the accessibility to the network is difficult due to infrastructure or security reasons, the testability main ability and integration become difficult due to a lack of diagnostic tools

Using optical fiber infrastructure significantly reduces power consumption, cable weight and physical footprint while gaining best price/performance for high-speed, secured RF communication over long distances.

RFOptic RF over fiber (RFoF) products are used in fiber-optic infrastructure that replaces long, heavy and costly high-frequency RF cables. RFOptic highly integrated RF over Fiber products are designed to simplify the conversion of analog (and digital) RF signals to Optical signals and back in various hybrid RF/fiber-optic environments

RFOptic products are ideal for marine and airborne phase array radar, balloon-based communication systems. RFOptic Optical Delay Line (ODL) products are used for Radar testing, radar calibration and other defense applications such as Electronic Warfare systems. The ODL is also a useful tool for telecommunications testing and simulating channel delays with high accuracy.

RFOptic Ltd has revealed the innovative programmable RFoF product line which solves the problem of the diagnostic tools which are not available in current generation product.

Remote Antennas:

  • Antenna remoting and/or base station locations
  • Antenna diversity
  • Phase Array antennas
  • Consolidate and simplify operations
  • Back-up redundant facilities
  • Possible because of fiber’s low RF loss
  • Ultra-low latency
  • Ideal for marine, aircraft and towers
  • 1/10 weight of coax, 1/25 of waveguide
  • Easy installation – flexible and thin
  • Lends itself to redundancy and cable routing diversity

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The Optical diagnostic tool

Figure 1: Tx screen shows the optical power in the Tx

Figure 1: Tx screen shows the optical power in the Tx

Figure 2: Rx screen shows the optical power in the Rx unit.

Figure 2: Rx screen shows the optical power in the Rx unit.

Usually all modules in the market have qualities indication of the power in the receiver utilizing diode that changes the color if no light comes to the receiver. It does not give any indication if the loss is due to the fiber or the connector or the laser diode. In most of the cases, the integrators are RF oriented people and do not have an optical power meter. In order to solve this issue RFOptic has developed a software where by  both Tx power and Rx power can be read. 
The optical power in the receiver is read in mW so it is easy to calculate the loss of the fiber and to locate problems in the network. RFOptic built in optical power meter saves time to the installer especially if the network access is difficult.

The  RF diagnostic tool

The problem is even escalated if the installer does not get an RF signal as expected in the Rx. He even does know if the low RF signal comes as a result of the fiber condition, RF problem at the Tx or the Rx or both. RFOptic has an internal diagnostic.

Figure 3 below  gives an explanation on the screens; it is possible to measure the RF level of the Tx Rx or the link. If the Rx is located far from the Rx the RF injection shutdown can be programmed to the required time interval, so the technician can go the 

This feature can save time and brining heavy and expensive equipment to the field and getting the picture of the RF link after short measurements of the optical and the RF level. 

The software has additional possibilities such as adding LNA (Low Noise Amplifier) by software and not replacing the hardware if LNA is required. 30 dB Tx and 30dB Rx gain attenuation which gives flexibility in the link adjustment which is required in typical installation.

RFoF Control Information Elements

Control & Information Elements