Thursday, October 5

Testing fiber optic networks with VIAVI inspection equipment

Fiber Optic Test Life Cycle

Fiber optic testing is sometimes considered an installation task that verifies whether a fiber optic network is properly prepared. In practice, fiber optic testing ranges from the initial development of new fiber optic components and systems in the laboratory to monitoring and troubleshooting that ensures years of reliable fiber optic performance in the field. Fiber optic cable Testing Best Practices

Testing fiber optic networks is an essential part of fiber optic installation as well as ongoing maintenance. By following certain best practices when testing fiber, fiber deployments and network activation become safer, more efficient, and more reliable.

Fiber Optic Cable Testing Best Practices

The importance of clean fiber installation and testing cannot be overstated. A fiber optic microscope can be used as a checker to check the cleanliness of the core and connection sleeves. Automated inspection tools can be used for common fiber optic interfaces such as PONs and MPO connectors. The use of specialized cleaning materials is recommended to properly clean fiber optic connections. This same neatness should be applied to reference cables and test equipment connections.

When a Visual Fault Locator (VFL) is used to identify the location of faults, eye safety is extremely important. Since VFLs use a high-intensity laser light source, neither the source nor the core of the fiber illuminated by a VFL should be viewed directly with the unprotected eye.

The use of an optical light source and power meter,

Or optical loss test set (OLTS), is considered best practice to ensure that the optical power budget is within design specifications. A calibrated optical light source (OLS) can be used in conjunction with an optical power meter (OPM) to quantify link insertion loss prior to commissioning.

The recommended fiber optic test tool to establish a detailed baseline and record the characteristics of a fiber optic link is the OTDR.

The purpose of an OTDR is to detect, locate,

and measure events at any location on a fiber link. Location information is generated for detected loss and reflective events, providing technicians with a permanent, graphical record of fiber characteristics.

When using an OTDR, use launch cables to categorize front-end and remote connectors. A launch cable is connected between a tester and the fiber under test, and the receive cable is connected to the far end of the fiber link. It is important to note that the fiber used in the launch cable and receive cable must match the fiber under test (ie type, core size, etc.).

Test Process Automation (TPA) principles

That are effective on the shop floor can be applied to the installation of fiber optic networks. By minimizing manual testing processes and reducing the chances of errors, training, certification, and commissioning time can be completed and documented predictably and with confidence.

Finally, proper planning and preparation are basic best practices that are relevant to any organized task, including fiber optic testing. Assembling and organizing a complete, calibrated, and pre-cleaned test tool kit is essential to performing the most effective and accurate fiber optic tests possible.