attenuation and transmission loss in the field. Optical power meter measurements are recommended when the length of an installed optical fiber cable or cable plant is less than 50 meters. A test jumper is used to couple light from the stabilized source to one end of the optical fiber (or cable plant) under test.">
Test personnel also use an optical power meter and stabilized light source to measure fiber attenuation and transmission loss in the field. Optical power meter measurements are recommended when the length of an installed optical fiber cable or cable plant is less than 50 meters. A test jumper is used to couple light from the stabilized source to one end of the optical fiber (or cable plant) under test. An additional test jumper is also used to connect the other end of the optical fiber (or cable plant) under test to the power meter. Optical power meter measurements may be conducted using an optical loss test set (OLTS). An OLTS combines the power meter and source functions into one physical unit. When making measurements, it does not matter whether the stabilized source and power meter are in one physical unit or two.
Power meter measurements are conducted on individual optical fiber cables installed on board ship. The installed optical fiber cable must have connectors or terminations on both ends to make the measurement. If the installed optical fiber cable does not have connectors or terminations on both ends, an OTDR should be used to evaluate the cable. If the cable is too short for evaluation with an OTDR, cable continuity can be verified using a flashlight.
Power meter measurements for cable assembly link loss require that test personnel clean all optical connections at test jumper interfaces before performing any measurement. Test personnel should use cotton wipes dampened with alcohol to clean connectors and blow dry before making connections. End users should also ensure that test equipment calibration is current.
Power meter measurements connecting a test reference cable between the light source and power meter. The test reference cable has the same nominal fiber characteristics as the cable under test. The optical power present at the power meter is the reference power (P1). Disconnect the test reference cable and connect the optical fiber cable under test between the light source and power meter using test jumpers. If possible, the test reference cable should be used as the input jumper cable for the test cable measurement. The test jumper fiber properties, such as core diameter and NA, should be nominally equal to the fiber properties of the cable being tested. The optical power present at the power meter is test power (P2).
Test personnel use P1 and P2 to calculate the cable assembly link loss. The cable assembly link loss (BCA) of optical fiber installed with connectors or terminations on both ends is
The cable assembly link loss should always be less than the specified link loss for that particular link.
Besides measuring individual cables, test personnel measure the transmission loss of installed fiber optic cable plants. The transmission loss of fiber optic cable plants is measured using EIA/TIA-526-14 method B (multimode fiber) or EIA/TIA-526-7 (single mode fiber). The procedure measures the internal loss of the cable plant between points A and B, plus two connection losses. Figure 5-18 (A) illustrates the method described in EIA/TIA-526-14 method B for measuring the reference power (P1). Figure 5-18 (B) shows the final test configuration for measuring the cable plant test power (P2).
Figure 5-18. - EIA/TIA-526-14 methods for measuring the reference power (P1).
The procedure is exactly the same as described for measuring the link loss of an individual cable assembly. The total optical loss between any two termination points, including the end terminations, of the optical fiber cable plant link is measured. The measured cable plant link loss should always be less than the specified cable plant link loss.
Test personnel should conduct cable assembly link loss, and cable plant transmission loss measurements in both directions and at each system operational wavelength. By performing these measurements in each direction, test personnel can better characterize cable and link losses. Unlike optical time-domain reflectometry, bidirectional readings are always possible when performing power meter measurements. In power meter measurements, by definition, end users have access to both ends of the cable or cable plant.
Q.37 When is an optical power meter measurement recommended for conducting field
measurements on installed optical fiber cables or cable plants?