OTDR stands for Optical Time Domain Reflectometer is a device that tests the integrity of a fiber cable and it’s uses for the building, certifying, maintaining, and troubleshooting fiber optic systems. Hand-held OTDRs build a virtual image of the fiber optic cable to determine the condition and performance capability of the fiber cable. These tools can also test components along the cable path like connection points, bends, or splices to analyze the cable’s capability from start to finish.
》OTDR Working Principle The process of running these tests requires the OTDR tool to input a light pulse into one end of a fiber cable, the results are based on the reflected signal that returns to the same OTDR port, some of the light transmitted through the cable will scatter and some will be reflected and returned to the OTDR. This returned scatters and reflections are measured to gather useful information about the fiber cable, such as loss and distances to connectors or faults. This is measured by recording the time it takes for signals to return to the OTDR.
》OTDR Testing Parameters With so many different uses for OTDR testing, setting the correct
OTDR parameters and environment can ensure the tests you run and measurements you get are
accurate. For some tests, using the auto-test function may be enough to get you accurate results,
but other tests may require you to manually set the OTDR testing parameters based in some
○Fiber cable length
○Type of cable
○Complexity of your system
These OTDR parameters will adjust the pulse width, averaging time, dead zones, and the distance range for your given fiber run to offer the most accurate results. In conclusion, this OTDR device is an essential tool for inspecting optical fiber cables, analyzing and identifying problems and faults with high accuracy, making it a valuable tool for communication technicians and engineers in the telecommunications field.
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Source: LinkedIn / JM Test Systems
Credits: Mr. Khalid Nour