OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometers)
An Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) is an essential tool used by different companies to certify the performance of new fiber optics links and detect problems that may occur in existing fiber links.
An OTDR injects a series of optical pulses into the fiber under test - the light pulses are sent into optical fibers at a wide range of pulse widths. Next, the faults in the fibers reflect the tiny amounts of light back to the OTDR. The device uses complex calculations to determine the size of the events found in the fiber run and a distance to them. Than these events found are defined as losses or changes in the fiber light-carrying capacity.
An OTDR implements a light backscattering method to analyze optical fibers. In practice, it takes a snapshot of the optical characteristics of a fiber by the means of sending a high-power pulse into one end of the fiber and at the same time the device measures the light scattered back towards it. Being a copy of the ODTR trace, this snapshot gives the user a current record of the fiber state at any moment of time.
Consequently, the OTDR may be used for determination of the cable breaks, splices, and connectors, as well as for measuring the light loss in the network. This may be useful during the installation process in case there are some damaged or altered fibers found after installation. Besides, some customers, before accepting the complete installed network, demand OTDR testing results to ensure proper parameters and stable operation.
Despite the fact that OTDR is not highly accurate in fiber loss testing, this type of devices may be used to perform loss testing on-site, in so called field conditions, of singlemode (SM) fiber where the operator has no convenient access to both ends of the fiber optic cable. It may also be successfully used for preventive maintenance including checkups on a facility fibers.
The leader of the OTDR market is EXFO with a 48% market share and the widest range of OTDRs. The manufacturer offers testing equipment for any types of networks. Based on a practical experience and 20 years of OTDR expertise, OTDRs manufactured by EXFO are designed to meet any requirements of network operators.
EXFO is a company that designs and manufactures test and service assurance instruments for fixed and mobile telecom networks. Its products include optical, transport, datacom, 3G, LTE, copper, xDSL, IMS and VoIP test platforms used by network operators and network equipment manufacturers to assess the telecom infrastructure and the telecom services carried on it. EXFO has a staff of approximately 1600 people in 25 countries, supporting more than 2000 telecom customers worldwide. The headquarters is situated in Quebec City, Canada.
EXFO OTDRs combine operability and advanced functions with a convenient and user-friendly interface. The successful OTDR usage requires minimum training. The device provide accurate measurements minimizing truck rolls and accelerating the working process on site. EXFO OTDR product range includes numerous singlemode and multimode configurations available at several wavelengths. You may choose between handheld or modular models.
EXFO OTDR platforms provide the operability, features and a set of advanced functions compared to those of the world's most famous OTDR manufacturers, as well as premium quality and reliability. However, the average price of an EXFO OTDR is competitive and affordable. As a result, taking into consideration the price-quality ratio of the Optical Time Domain Reflectometers offered by EXFO, we recommend these for fiber optic network servicing, maintenance and installation.