Abstract: Mass fusion splicing of ribbon fibers has been well established in fiber optic telecommunications deployments for some time, and it offers efficient and cost-effective splicing of high fiber count cables. In recent years, needs for even higher fiber count cables for data center applications have driven the development of new ultra-high density ribbon fiber cable designs to achieve the desired number of fibers within available duct space. These new ribbon fiber cables have successfully met the requirements for high density (with many cables containing 3,456 fibers or more) within an acceptable cable diameter that will fit into existing ducts. However, a new challenge has been encountered with these ultra-high density fiber optic cables. Specifically, it may require several days to prepare, organize, and splice a single high density splice point.
This paper investigates and documents each aspect of the cable joining and the ribbon fiber splicing process of ultra-high density fiber optic cable. This analysis identifies improvements in cable preparation, closure preparation, ribbon fiber preparation, and the mass fusion splicing processes. By taking a systems approach to the overall splicing process, it has been possible to improve efficiencies in the cable joining and splicing process to realize additional system cost savings with this technology.