Every network technician now requires some level of optical test equipment due to the use of optical interfaces across most networks, whether they are service provider, data centre, or enterprise. Faults at the optical layer affect the performance of every part of the network, so it is critical that technicians and engineers can resolve them in a fast and efficient manner.
Important factors to test on optical networks include:
Connector bnspection – ensuring that fibres mating points are clean of contaminants and damage to prevent signalling errors between equipment.
Fibre continuity testing – verifying the correct connectivity between equipment interfaces.
Optical loss measurement – measuring the loss of power between two points on the network to ensure that the receiver has enough power to process the incoming signal.
Optical Power Measurement – measuring the output power from a transmitted or the received power at the far end of an optical connection,
Channel analysis – measuring the optical power across each wavelength on a CWDM or DWDM network to ensure the correct wavelengths are used and that key measurements such as optical power and optical signal to noise ratio for each channel are within specification.
OTDR trace – measuring the end to end loss across a fibre and identifying loss events at splices, connections and splitters that may cause errors across the network.