Air blown fiber systems use air to blow micro optical fiber cables through pre-installed microducts.

Air blowing fiber, also known as jetting fiber, is an efficient way to install fiber optic cable and facilitates future expansion of optical fiber networks. Fibers can be installed in areas that are hard to reach or that have limited access. Air Blown Fiber is also recommended for environments where there will be many changes and additions to the network. It also allows for duct installation before you know how much fiber is actually required, and so eliminates the need to install dark fibers. It also reduces splicing and interconnection points so optical loss is minimized and system performance is enhanced.

Air Blown Fiber (ABF) System Installation

ABF systems are made up of a network of microducts that connect at various locations. The components of the air blown fiber system include microducts, a blowing apparatus, optical fiber microcables, termination cabinets, and connecting/terminating hardware. Ducts connect to the blowing apparatus. The blowing apparatus blows air through the ducts. This creates a vacuum inside the duct and pulls the microcable into and through the microduct. Duct distribution cabinets are installed everywhere the ducts branch to another location and at each end of every length of duct.

Air Blown Fiber Installation Video

Air Blown Fiber Advantages

Air blown fibers being blown into place, rather than pulled, puts no zero tensile stress on the fiber during installation and fiber splice points can be eliminated, lowering attenuation and increasing system performance and integrity.

Installing blown fibers ensures that the microduct can be reused for fiber expansion or replacement in the future by blowing out the existing microcables and blowing in new ones.

Air blown fiber systems offer cost savings and other benefits compared to traditional fiber systems. These benefits include reduced outside plant material, faster installation times, fewer fiber connection points (which reduces the number of splices), simplified repairs and maintenance, and a path for future evolving applications (such as adding new fibers).

OFS Microcable Video

OFS Microcables for Air Blown Applications

Implementing or upgrading modern Fiber-To-The-Subscriber (FTTx) or underground networks can be complex and challenging. To help make deployment faster and less costly, especially in locations where space is at a premium, OFS developed the MiDia® and AccuRibbon®  DuctSaver® Microcable families. These microcables are specifically optimized for air-blown applications.

An ideal solution for congested networks, OFS microcables are available in a range of designs to meet the needs of virtually any air-blown installation. With a product line including Telcordia GR-20 compliant designs, ultra-high-density constructions and the world’s first ribbon microcable, OFS offers a microcable suited for your most demanding application.

OFS microcables are an excellent choice whether your project involves overriding cables in existing ducts, installation into unused innerducts or greenfield “grow-as-you-go” deployments. Moreover, these offer the exceptional performance, reliability value that you’ve come to expect from OFS.

MiDia ® Loose Tube Microcables

For providers who prefer loose tube cable designs, OFS offers the MiDia portfolio of microcables. Specifically designed for exceptional air-blown installation performance, these can help to lower air blown fiber optic cable deployment costs while increasing capacity and fiber density in limited spaces. By allowing providers to deploy fiber only as needed, MiDia microcables help to defer initial investment costs while providing the flexibility needed for future technology upgrades.

>>> View our MiDia Portfolio

AccuRibbon® DuctSaver® Ribbon Microcables

For service providers who prefer ribbon cables and the benefits of mass fusion splicing, OFS offers the AccuRibbon DuctSaver product line of microcables. While making optimum use of valuable duct space, these microcables also help maximize the key advantages of air-blown microduct installation – namely, rapid deployment and service activation.

>>> Download  our AccuRibbon DuctSaver FX Brochure

Selecting the Right Optical Fiber Cable

Selecting the right microduct is critical to the success of any microcable deployment. The formulation and surface finish of a microduct’s low-friction layers are vitally important to achieving long, continuous blowing distances. In the same way, a microcable’s optimized outer diameter, weight, stiffness and low friction jacket also play a critical role in installation performance. When the most appropriate microcable for an application is used with the right microduct, these critical features combine, in a synergistic way, to deliver smooth, air-blown deployment with maximum, continuous blowing distances.

>>> Download our Microcable Solutions Guide.

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