Fiber Optic Characterization

Fiber Characterization is required for high speed links such as 10 Gig, 40 Gig and DWDM networks to ensure that signal integrity is not affected by ORL, CD, and PMD .  Fiber Characterization is a comprehensive set of measurements performed on a fiber optic cable link to determine the key performance attributes of that link.  Our Fiber Optic Characterization service enables you to have a true representation of your network’s capabilities.

Customers often ask us when they should have Fiber Optic Characterization performed?  We try to provide the most simple answer possible.  “Anytime you have a link which is running at 10 Gbps or faster.”  Remember that each time a system gets upgraded to a faster delivery speed the optical thresholds for that fiber system become more stringent.  Links running speeds of 10 Gbps or higher should be considered high performance and high value links.  Most links running at these speeds are subject to Service Level Agreements (SLA) which mandate the network up time and performance required.

Tests for Characterization

  • Optical Return Loss (ORL)
    1550nm and 1625 wavelengths, bi-directional
  • Power Meter and Light Source (LTS)
    1550nm & 1625nm wavelengths, bi-directionally averaged
  • OTDR
    1550nm & 1625nm wavelengths, bi-directionally averaged
  • Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD)
    1550nm wavelength, one direction
  • Chromatic Dispersion (CD)
    1520nm to 1630nm at 10nm wavelength increments, one direction
Bi-Directional OTDR Traces
Chromatic Dispersion Curve
Polarization Mode Dispersion Measurement

Direct Benefits of Fiber Optic Characterization

  • We perform 100% visual inspection of all connectors being tested – damaged connectors are documented
  • Detailed documentation of fiber spans and classification of events
  • Accurate data required to configure compensation and amplifier schemes
  • Reduced time to market as corrective actions can be implemented before system turn up
  • Identify poor quality connections which cause high Bit Error Rates
  • Data acquired can be archived to compare against future data to identify fiber degradation

Customized final reports are included with this service.

Please contact our Professional Services group at 315-507-4274 for all inquiries.