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Optical fibre communications

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NO. 205/77 WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1977.


The first Australian field trial of optical

fibre communication has recently been completed at the

Department of Defence Guided Weapons Electronics Support

Facility at St Marys, NSW.

The Minister for Defence, Mr D.J. Killen, said

today that the successful trial was carried out by

Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited in conjunction

with Telecom Australia.

Optical fibres are glass fibres about the

diameter of a hair and are capable of carrying thousands

of messages. In their ultimate application, they could

replace the traditional electric cable, ait less cost,

and with far greater message capacity.

Mr Killen said that the recent trial involved

the use of cables jointly developed by A.W.A. and Olex

Cables Ltd. It consisted of the installation of a 2.3km

optical fibre communication link, both underground and

overhead. The underground section was partly ducted.

Mr Killen said that the cables, when used for

field operations, had a military significance. They had

a high message-carrying capacity, were light and compact


to transport, easy to instal and cost little when fully

developed. The equipment would be permanently used as

a data transmission link for the Guided Weapons

Electronic Support Facility at St Marys.


Further Enquiries; Mr Noel Tanswell 65 2690 (office hours) 48 0476 (after hours)