The fibre optics market is dynamic and in constant expansion driven by the growing demand for high data bandwidths. Alongside this demand, the market is benefiting from improvements to fibre optic technologies.
The IEC has published a new standard for the testing of fibre optic cabling. IEC 61280-4-5 provides test methods to measure the attenuation of installed multimode and single-mode optical fibre cabling plant as well as the determination of their polarity and length. This standard is applicable to optical fibre cabling plants that terminate with multi-fibre push-on (MPO) connectors and use test equipment having an MPO interface.
According to Seymour Goldstein, Project Leader for IEC 61280-4-5 “This publication substantially increases the accuracy in assessing maximal data transmission capacity of new and existing fibre optic networks. Uncertainties in the transmission link loss in fibre optic cabling is reduced which is important information for engineers involved in the network design and field deployment of fibre optic networks”.
IEC 61280-4-5 designates the following five test methods:
• one-cord method
• three-cord method
• adapter-cord method
• equipment cord method
• optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) method
The first four methods use an optical light source and power meter (LSPM) to measure input and output power levels of the cabling to determine the attenuation and cabling polarity. The OTDR method emits short light impulses into the cabling and measures the backscattered power as a function of propagation time delay or length along the optical fibre.
IEC 61280-4-5 is part of the IEC 61280 series of standards which provides testing procedures for fibre optic communication subsystems.