Staff Development Video: OTDR Theory and Operation


The optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) is used to test the light-transmission ability of an optical fiber cable or span, and to determine the location and magnitude of a problem. The OTDR is the most widely used and versatile instrument for testing optical cables during installation, maintenance, and restoration. It can determine the length of a fiber and its end-to-end loss as well as the amount of reflected light and loss from various discrete components within the fiber.

Modern OTDRs can locate and evaluate the losses of fusion splices, optical splitters, and connectors and can even report whether each location and loss is within certain specification tolerances.

Among all electronic test instruments, the OTDR is truly unique in its combination of extremely high dynamic range, rapid acquisition capabilities, and high resolution. No other instrument used for any test application can boast over 200 dB of electrical dynamic range, nearly 1 GHz of bandwidth, and a 10-MHz sampling rate, all in the same package.

 

Chapter

Length (minutes)

Introducing the OTDR

3:27

How the OTDR Works

9:51

OTDR Evolution

4:01

Platform OTDRs

11:57

OTDR Settings and Menus

9:33

Specialty OTDRs

2:34

Acceptance Testing

14:24

Measuring Splice Loss

2:45

Measuring ORL

4:00

Testing the Outside Plant

3:54

Testing Local Area Networks

11:55

Testing Optical Splitters

6:53