There are several types of fiber optic cables for outdoor applications, such as underground fiber cables, direct buried fiber cables, and aerial fiber cables, each of which has its differences in design and characteristics.
Underground Fiber Cables
Underground fiber cables are generally pulled within a conduit which is buried underground, usually 1 to 2 meters deep, to reduce the possibility of being dug up. Lubricants are added in the outdoor cable design to reduce friction on high-pulling tension.
Direct Buried Fiber Cables
Direct buried cables are buried underground like underground cables, yet without conduit. Therefore, these cables must be able to withstand dust, pressure or rodent chewing. Compared with the underground cables with conduits, direct buried cables are more solid.
Aerial Fiber Cables
Aerial cables are placed from poles or pylons or mounted on buildings. The deployment environment protects aerial cables from man-made damage or theft but increases the risk of being destructed by natural elements such as storm, wind, and ice.
Submarine/Underwater Fiber Cables
As the name suggests, the submarine or underwater cables must have the protection against water and moisture as the result of the specific outdoor environments they are placed. Considering that factor, most of the underwater cables now build with a gel or absorbent powder or tape, which generally applies to loose tubes or ribbon cables.