Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Note: These FAQs are not a comprehensive description of any TRAXyL product or service. All statements regarding approved techniques should be verified by the installer with the appropriate Jurisdiction Having Authority (JHA) before specifying or installing any TRAXyL product.
TRAXyL is a Virginia based company that has developed a new method for installing fiber optic communication lines by essentially “painting” them directly on pavement. Their vision is to solve the “last mile” (“last kilometer”) connectivity problem by leveraging their flagship product, FiberTRAX, the first of many new connectivity capabilities.
FiberTRAX is a proprietary method for installing fiber cable by affixing the low-profile cable to the surface of pavement using quick curing, durable resins. There are two variants of FiberTRAX, a Surface-Mount and a Flush-Mount. Surface-Mount FiberTRAX is a fiber cable bonded to the top of pavement surface and Flush-Mount FiberTRAX is fiber cable that is inlaid in the pavement surface.
FiberTRAX is installed using a TRAXtor installation machine. Short FiberTRAX links can be installed manually using TRAXyL hand tools and techniques.
A TRAXtor is a self-propelled, ride-on, machine that is about the size of a riding lawn mower and can install FiberTRAX at up to 1,000 feet (305 meters) per hour.
The “paint” is actually durable fast-curing resins provided specifically for use in FiberTRAX. The “painted fiber” description is used to describe the final FiberTRAX installation because it resembles a road paint marking.
Factors that can affect performance include the quality of the underlying pavement, the FiberTRAX path location, and local traffic conditions. With a proper installation, periodic inspection, and limited Top Coat refreshment as needed, FiberTRAX connectivity can be maintained indefinitely.
FiberTRAX is designed to utilize existing hard-paved surfaces like asphalt and concrete that provide a solid base to make a fiber connection. The surfaces include bike or cart paths, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, roads, bridges, and tunnels. FiberTRAX can be installed at airports, military bases, campuses, in residential or business communities, and even indoors at convention centers, garages, factories, and warehouses.
FiberTRAX is not designed for use on surfaces that are not hard-paved such as dirt, grass, or gravel.
The typical height of a surface-mounted FiberTRAX installation is less than ~3/8 inches (~8 millimeters) at its peak and less than ~4 inches (~100 millimeters) wide with gradually sloping sides down to the pavement surface. A flush-mounted FiberTRAX installation is completely flush to the surface and the Top Coat completely covers the ½ inch (13 millimeter) channel with an over-smear ~1 1/2 inches (~38 millimeters) wide.
No, surface-mounted FiberTRAX is installed on the surface without cutting into the surface. Flush-mounted FiberTRAX is installed into the surface by etching or “smoothing” a small channel for the fibers and resins to reside. The channel is no more than several millimeters deep, and the installation does not cut through the surface layer.
Costs vary from project to project. If your cost is dependent on time saving and labor reduction then TRAXyL solutions can be much more efficient with significant cost savings. Contact TRAXyL directly to discuss your project or for more information.
FiberTRAX consists of multiple layers of protection that include resins, aramid yarns, and steel armor that provide a robust installation. FiberTRAX samples have been tested in thermal chambers and subjected to extreme temperatures with varying humidity. FiberTRAX has survived heavy vehicular traffic, equipment, and large aircraft.
FiberTRAX resins can be melted and removed, and the cable can be removed using TRAXyL decommissioning methods, or the entire link can be removed from the surface using commercial scarifying equipment.
FiberTRAX Surface-mounted FiberTRAX can survive the passage of both snowplows and tracked vehicles. Flush-mounted FiberTRAX reduces snowplow risks even more. However, snowplow blades that gouge into the asphalt road surface and tracked vehicles that pivot on top of the FiberTRAX installation can potentially damage a FiberTRAX installation and may break the fiber link. To reduce these risks, TRAXyL suggests implementing design, installation, and operational guidelines that:
- Avoid routes with the harshest traffic
- Install FiberTRAX close to the curb or road edge
- Create redundant links and mesh networks
- Implement signage to identify the FiberTRAX links, such as “Lift Plow Blade Here”
- Instruct plow drivers and contractors of proper equipment operation near FiberTRAX
- Ensures proper preventative maintenance agreements are in place with end user and installer
FiberTRAX is an innovative fiber installation technique invented by TRAXyL. The technique is meant to provide installers a simple cost-effective installation option for complex situations. FiberTRAX reduces project costs, shortens the planning and approval cycle, speeds up the installation time, and eliminates the need to restore a work site.
Currently, the TRAXtor can deploy a 6, 12, or 24-count fiber cable with 250-micron single-mode or multimode fibers. TRAXyL is developing the technology to place 48 fibers and more in a single FiberTRAX installation. TRAXyL has also provided custom installations with 48 and 72 fibers within a single FiberTRAX link using multiple cables.
A new asphalt layer may be installed directly on top of an existing FiberTRAX link. If the top layer of a road surface is milled prior to the new asphalt installation, then an existing FiberTRAX link will need to be installed after the road is resurfaced. A redundant FiberTRAX link or other temporary cable may be installed on an alternate path prior to the road surface replacement to maintain a connection.
Standard colors include black, gray, white, and yellow. Other colors can be ordered by Pantone® identifying number.
It is recommended that the surface, air, and material temperatures be between 40 – 105 degrees F (4 – 41 degrees C), and at least 5 degrees F (-15 degrees C) above the dew point, with relative humidity less than 75%. If operating outside of these conditions, consult with a TRAXyL representative to discuss options.
Once installed, FiberTRAX can handle extreme winter and summer conditions and temperatures.
Call TRAXyL at 1-844-4-TRAXYL (1-844-487-2995) or email email@example.com to speak with a TRAXyL representative today.
The TRAXtor is currently installing fiber at speeds up to 1,000 feet (305 meters) per hour. TRAXyL is continuing to develop new procedures and equipment to install FiberTRAX at an even faster rate. The Top Coat fully cures in roughly 30 to 60 minutes depending on ambient temperature.
The protective coatings that make up FiberTRAX hold up very well and are designed to be very resistant to road surface chemicals.
FiberTRAX is no more or less secure than other conventionally installed fiber cable such as an aerial cable coming down off a pole and into a junction box, or a buried cable that enters a handhole.
FiberTRAX can be installed over JACs of varying widths. JACs up to ~1” (~25 mm) have no appreciable effect. JACs that are ~1 – 2” (~25 – 50 mm) can be spot filled with TRAXyL resins in anticipation of the FiberTRAX installation. JACs exceeding ~3” (~75 mm) will utilize a TRAXyL defined method to span the crack or expansion joint.
An approved TRAXyL Installer provides warranty coverage based on their assessment of any potential installation. TRAXyL provides a warranty against defects for all TRAXyL provided protective coatings and fiber.
Preventative maintenance procedures generally include periodic inspections and refreshing the Top Coat to repair small scuffs and gouges.
Yes, generally there are multiple techniques that can be implemented to ensure continuous flow of traffic. Consult your FiberTRAX provider for a detailed procedure.
Industry standard tools, equipment, and procedures are used to identify where damage has occurred. Once identified, the links can be rerun at speeds up to 1,000 feet (305 meters) per hour, or an in-situ FiberTRAX splicing can be performed by an Approved TRAXyL Installer.
All protective coatings are TRAXyL proprietary resins with specific formulas based on the geography and conditions at the installation site. Only TRAXyL provided materials can be used for FiberTRAX and dispensed by TRAXtors.
FiberTRAX has been used for Fiber to The Home (FTTH) projects at both single homes and Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs), on military bases and campuses to extend network connectivity, to connect devices and cameras, and across a bridge over a river. For more use cases, visit traxyl.com/case-studies.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-844-4-TRAXYL (1-844-487-2995) to speak with a TRAXyL representative.
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