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1-288 cores GYFTY non-metallic Optical Fiber Cable
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There are three basic "gadgets" to condition the modal distribution in multimode fibers :
mode strippers which remove unwanted cladding mode light, mode scramblers which mix modes to equalize power in all the modes, and mode filters which remove the higher order modes to simulate EMD or steady state conditions.
These devices are used to condition modal fill in multimode fiber to reduce measurement uncertainty in testing loss or bandwidth. More information on loss testing Accuracy. More information on mode conditioning for multimode fibers and measurement methods including encircled flux.
Cladding mode strippers are used to remove any light being propagated in the cladding to insure that measurements include only the effects of the core. Most American fibers are "self-stripping"; the buffer is chosen to have an index of refraction that will promote the leakage of light from the cladding to the buffer. If you are using at least 1 meter of fiber, cladding modes will probably not be a factor in measurements. One can easily tell if cladding modes are a factor. Start with 10 meters of fiber coupled to a source and measure the power transmitted through it. Cut back to 5 meters and then 4, 3, 2, and 1 meter, measuring the power at every cutback. The loss in the fiber core is very small in 10 meters, about 0.03 - 0.06 dB. But if the power measured increases rapidly, the additional light measured is cladding light, which has a very high attenuation, and a cladding mode stripper is recommended for accurate measurements if short lengths of fiber must be used.
To make a cladding mode stripper, strip off the fiber's buffer for 2 to 3 inches (50 to 75 mm) and immerse the fiber in a substance of equal or higher index of refraction than the cladding. This can be done by immersing the fiber in alcohol or mineral oil in a beaker, or by threading the fiber through a common soda straw and filling the straw with index matching epoxy or an optical gel (Note: stripping the buffer away from the end of a fiber is easily done, using a chemical stripper. If the fiber cannot be chemically stripped, like those with Teflon buffers, check with the fiber manufacturer for instructions.) A caution. Do not stress the fiber after the mode stripper, as this will reintroduce cladding modes, negating the effects of the mode stripper. Mode stripping should be done last if mode scrambling and filtering are also done on a fiber under test.