Fiber Characterization

Can you accurately determine fault locations with your OTDR?
Can your fiber cable network support 10G traffic?
Can your fiber cable network support DWDM or CWDM systems?
Do your fibers experience high loss?
What is the signal latency in your fiber network?
Do you know the condition and type of fiber in your cable?

Our Fiber Characterization reports answer these questions and more. Let us provide you with a full performance assessment of your fiber cable. We verify the integrity and capacity of your fiber network by our measurements of fiber parameters such as optical loss, chromatic dispersion, polarization mode dispersion and fiber reflections. We check for fiber anomalies and identify loss problems with our OTDR traces.

All of our reports are provide in a well organized 81/2 x11 binder assembly. Also provided is an electronic pdf copy of the entire report as well as the actual OTDR, CD and PMD trace results with viewing (emulation) software. This allows customers to further inspect traces on their office computers at their convenience.

Our experience? Over the past 10 years, we have characterized over 10,000 km of optical fiber in USA and Canada.

OTDR to Cable Span Calibration

Not sure why your expensive OTDR cannot provide you with accurate cable fault locations? It can be due to incorrect index of refraction (IOR) and Helix Factor values that are entered into the OTDR. Our cable measurements determine proper values for IOR and Helix factor so that your next OTDR fault location measurement is accurate. Best and most accurate measurements of IOR and Helix factors are made during or prior fiber cable deployment construction. Post construction measurements are also possible but with less accuracy.

OTDR Measurements

otdr_small The Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) is used to obtain a visual representation of an optical fiber's attenuation characteristics along its length. OTDR trace results include fiber attenuation, fiber loss, splice loss, splice location, connector loss, connector location, fiber length, bad fiber bend locations, other fiber anomaly locations and optical return loss (event reflections) which are graphically represented and charted in our report. Measurements are available at 1310nm, 1550nm and 1625nm. Bi-directional fiber measurements can also be provide for best event loss accuracy. This report is useful for identifying poorly installed fiber cable and/or damaged cables.

Chromatic Dispersion

cd_smallChromatic dispersion (CD) limits the maximum transmission rate and distance capability of the fiber. If you are planning to increase your transmission rate to 1 Gbps or higher over long distances this report is suggested. Measurements are conduct across C-Band and L-band.

Polarization Mode Dispersion

pmd_smallPolarization Mode Dispersion (PMD) can affect transmission at rates of 10 Gbps and higher. There is no easy way to compensate for high PMD so knowing fiber PMD is important for 10G and higher systems. PMD measurements are conducted in C-Band

Optical Return Loss (ORL)

orl_small Optical Return Loss (ORL) measures the optical back reflection of a fiber caused by connectors, splices, other fiber anomalies and the fiber itself. Low ORL can affect laser stability and increase transmission bit errors.  

Optical Power Meter and Attenuation Profile (Spectral Attenuation)

Fiber loss measurements are performed at 1310 and 1550nm using are variable laser source and power meter. Full fiber attenuation profile (AP) can be provided from 1270nm to 1620 nm.

Fiber Signal Latency

Latency We measure network fiber latency and provide a tabulated results for all fibers. Signal propagation through fiber is slower than through air or copper. Therefore the added signal delay due to fiber latency is an important consideration for many time sensitive applications and protocols.

Visual Inspection of Network Fiber Connectors

Connectorface We inspect each network fiber connection with our video fiber scope and take pictures for the report. Dirty, bad and damaged connectors are quickly identified.

Optical Spectrum Analysis (Optional for live DWDM and CWDM networks)

osa_small Optical Spectrum Analysis (OSA) reports provide a graphical representation of all wavelengths in a live DWDN fiber. This report is suggested for proper performance tuning and balancing of DWDM systems.

Bit Error Ratio (BER) and RFC2544 IP Test (Optional for live circuits)

oc48tester1 We provide BER and RFC2544 IP testing using simulated live traffic on dark or lit fibers at transmission rates up to and including 10 Gbps and OC-192/STM64 for any span lengths. Test provide an assessment of circuit quality.