EXFO : introduces industry’s first integrated test solution for troubleshooting DWDM networks

EXFO introduces the Optical Wave Expert, the first device to integrate DWDM channel power validation and intelligent OTDR fault-locating capabilities on a single port. Designed to save multiple service operators (MSOs) time and money, the Optical Wave Expert equips field technicians to automatically measure, diagnose and troubleshoot optical fiber links.

A Series of Articles Dives into OTDR Mastery for Fiber Optic Testing

With higher speeds comes increased sensitivity to more factors in the network, creating problems that earlier and slower networks could tolerate with little or no impact. But while continuous upgrades in technology have resulted in more dynamic and adapting networks today, the fundamental requirements for fiber performance remains mostly unchanged. Establishing and maintaining networks requires accurate testing of the fiber infrastructure to ensure it can handle the system’s performance requirements and keep it operational. There are a wide range of tools that can accomplish these tasks, but there is arguably no other single instrument more important for testing and maintaining fiber networks than the Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR).

Subtleties of bend-insensitive multimode fiber

While the industry has justifiably regarded the development of bend-insensitive OM3 fibers as an advancement, there has been at least one unexpected consequence. We have observed unusual, high multimode OTDR attenuation rates (hereafter “rates”), in both bend-insensitive fibers and bend-insensitive cables.These high rates can result in rejection of properly installed cables due to excessive attenuation rates, misinterpretation of rate values, and improper interpretation of such rates during troubleshooting activities. These high rates can result in misinterpretation of OTDR data from data centers, as data centers have relatively short fiber lengths, in which these increased rates occur.

How best to interpret OTDR traces?

Improper use or interpretation of OTDR test results can result in wasted time, materials and money. Estimates indicated contractors lose as much as $100,000 annually due to improperly reading OTDR test results. OTDRs are often used to create a “picture” of a fiber optic cable when it is first installed so later comparisons can be made to help with troubleshooting network problems. OTDRs send pulses of light into optical fibers at varying pulse widths. Then, they measure the small amounts of reflected light that are sent back from faults in the fibers. The device then determines the size and distance of the faults, and defines them as losses or changes in the cable’s light-carrying capacity.

AFL intros FlexScan FS300-325 Quad OTDR

AFL’s FlexScan FS300-325 Quad OTDR helps contract installers and network operators deploy and maintain single-mode and multimode networks, including Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Passive Optical Networks (PONs), Passive Optical LANs (POLANs) and point-to-point networks. The new OTDR includes many of the same capabilities found in AFL’s FlexScan FS200 family of single-mode OTDRs.

AddOn Introduces New Fiber Testing Solution

AddOn Networks has launched a new testing solution that detects problems within optical fibers. The EON-NSV-OTDR devices rapidly locate and report any faults in an optical fiber link of a communication network – saving service providers time and money by allowing them to quickly address the root cause of any issues and providing real-time monitoring of jitter and latency.