Facebook Connectivity Together with ULC Robotics developed a robot, which can wind fiber on the medium voltage power line, which reduces the connection cost of 3-5 times.
The use of an already existing infrastructure for laying a cable allows not only to automate the process, but one brigade to work immediately in several sites.
On average, the robot in one working day is able to wind 1.5-2 km of cable at a price of $ 2-3 per meter, taking into account all costs and remuneration of workers. Although it is able to independently detect and overcome obstacles, but masters still need to configure it, recharge, raise, drop and switch on transitions.
In the process of development, the team faced a number of problems. First of all, the device should be sufficiently easy to not damage the cable, but at the same time be able to lay a sufficient amount of fiber. To solve the issue of mass, engineers reduced the stock of the portable fiber.
Another problem was that the power lines can operate under high voltage, heat up to a temperature at which the standard fiber-optic shell melting, and stretch under the action of heat and wind. Therefore, the team decided to use a solid 200-micron fiber with a special shell weighing 12.7 kg per 1 km of span.
According to the developers, the device allows not only to speed up the deployment of networks in developing countries, but also reduce the cost of work at 3-5 times.
In addition to automation of optical fiber, researchers are improving and data transfer equipment. For example, a recent team of scientists presented an optical microcircuit that increases
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