Overview of Fiber Optic Power Measurement

Posted on by FS.COM

For almost every fiber optic cable plant, you need to test the continuity, fiber loss and troubleshooting other problems once the cables are installed and terminate. Fiber optic testing includes fiber optic cleaning, inspection, troubleshooting and fiber optic power measurement for the existing fiber cabling plants.

Fiber optic inspection: With the increasingly higher data rates are driving decreasingly small loss budgets, fiber optic inspection and cleaning are growing more and more important. If we want to decrease the overall light loss, the only way is to hence our job of properly inspection and cleaning. There are two types of problems that will cause loss when doing the fiber optic connection with the adapters, one is contamination, the other is damage.

Contamination comes in many forms which can be dust, oils, or even the buffer gel. Oil can come from bodies when making a touching with the fibers’ end face. Dust and he small static-charged particles flying in the air can land on the fibers’ exposed termination. In the new installations, buffer gel and pulling lube can easily find its way onto an end-face. Scratching, chipping, pitting or cracking of the fiber optic cable will cause the end-face surface defects which as a result of poor termination or mated contamination.

We used to use the stereo bench top microscopes to inspect fiber optic end-faces at the beginning of fiber optic cabling. Over time, smaller, portable microscopes were produced to easily handle the job. There are optical and video microscopes in the market today. Optical microscopes incorporate and objective lens and an eyepiece lens which allow you to view the end face directly. Video microscopes, however, have both an optical probe and a display for viewing. Probes is very small and can reach the ports with is hard to access. The display screens will show the expanded images of the contaminants and damages. By using the probes and screen, it will avoid the interface of the laser light which may affect a person’s eye. By the way, FiberStore offers a full range of fiber optic microscope which will fit for all kinds of your fiber inspection requirements.

Fiber optic cleaning: Most people may have their own approaches for cleaning end-face, such as blasting the fiber cables with canned air, or using IPA. But these way is the most traditional and suboptimal. Fiber optic specialist today, have developed series special solvent and cleaning tools which can all be found in the fiber optic leaning kits. The special fiber solvent are perfect for dissolving virtually any contaminant on the fiber end-face and have tailored evaporation rates that give them time to work yet disappear before mating.

Optical power measurement:
Fiber optic testing is in fact the measurement for the optical power. It is absolutely the measurement of the output power from a transmitter and the input power to the receiver. Power measurement is the actual value of the power loss. Power loss refers the difference between the power coupled into a component such as a cable or connector and the power that is transmitted trough it. The optical loss are used to define the performance of a cable, connector, splice, etc.

Fiber optic certification has experienced a development from Tier 1 to Tier 2, which are base on the certification of new cabling per IEEE, TIA, or ISO/IEC standards. Tier 1 is the basic test regiment which is performed with a power meter and light source or optical loss test set to measure the absolute loss of the link and compare it to the limits of the standards. Tier2 is the extended Tier 1 testing which bring the application of OTDR testing. By the use of OTDR, it will ensure the quality of individual components of the installed link.

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