Optical Fiber Measurements

Introducing the FG500HR Fiber and Fiber Coating Geometry Measurement.

Measurement of optical fiber is a speciality in which PE.fiberoptics excels. We design and manufacture a wide range of equipment with capabilities to measure a variety of different optical and physical parameters. 

PE.fiberoptics is constantly updating its product range and adding measurement capabilities so please check back here to find any new measurement types we might have developed.

Use the links below to jump to the solutions relevant to the parameter of interest.

Chromatic Dispersion (CD)

Chromatic Dispersion in an optical fiber happens when the speed of light changes according to the particular wavelength being transmitted.When the transmitter source spectral width is not infinitely narrow, this finite range of wavelengths will travel at varying speeds thus causing the transmitted pulse to spread or 'disperse' in time.

There are various technologies available to measure Chromatic Dispersion and each technology lends itself to a particular application for the measurement. What works well on a 5,000km submarine link will not necessarily cope quite so well on a 1km drum of cable and vice-versa. For this reason, PE.fiberoptics has developed a range of solutions that address the specific needs of each application.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables as well as optical component manufacturers. 

The 'Field Equipment' range is suitable for measuring installed links in the field.

Chromatic Dispersion (CD) Measurement Solutions


Polarisation Mode Dispersion (PMD)

Polarisation Mode Dispersion(PMD) results from the two polarisation states experiencing different effective refractive indexes (Birefringence) that vary randomly along the fibers length.

There are various technologies available to measure PMD and each technology lends itself to a particular application for the measurement. What works well on a a fiber that has relatively high PMD, will not necessarily cope quite so well when the PMD is relatively low and vice-versa. For this reason, PE.fiberoptics has developed a range of solutions that address the specific needs of each application. The option to measure by one or other of the various standards enables the user to choose the most suitable instrument for the application.

The 'Production/Lab' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables. 

The 'Field Equipment' range is suitable for measuring installed links in the field.

Polarisation Mode Dispersion (PMD) Measurement Solutions


OTDR

An OTDR, rather than being a parameter in itself, is a piece of equipment used to measure Attenuation along the length of the fiber. Attenuation in an optical fiber occurs as a result of the way the light interacts with the structure of the fiber both at a microscopic and a macroscopic level. It is one of the parameters that can significantly be affected by the processes used to manufacture and install/join the cable.

All the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms that create this loss of signal are known to be wavelength dependent and as such are normally measured over the useable spectrum for which the fiber is designed('Spectral Attenuation'), but with an OTDR, these Attenuation characteristics are measured as a function of length rather than wavelength. Having said that, OTDRs do posses the ability to carry out this test at more than one wavelength.

There are several mechanisms to be considered:

  • Scattering and Absorption (the intrinsic attenuation of the fiber)
  • Splicing/Connectorising (extrinsic single point events) 
  • Bending (extrinsic single and macro events)

The OTDR enables the user to determine the effects of these mechanisms individually. The main purposes of this measurement is to yield information about the location of any undesirable or out of spec attenuation events.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables. 

The 'Field Equipment' range is suitable for measuring installed links in the field as well as in the cable manufacturing environment.

OTDR Measurement Solutions


Cable & Fiber Strain

Strain, is where the fiber and cable experience length and optical attenuation changes when the cable which is designed to protect the fiber is stressed in some way. 

In order to ensure that the cable design and its subsequent manufacture protects the fiber during its installation and operation, it is necessary to expose the cable to stresses that exceed normal installation and operational limits whilst at the same time monitoring the length and attenuation of the fiber. Limits to these variations in length(strain) and attenuation are well defined in the various standards. 

The solution we have developed allows the simultaneous measurement of both 'Fiber Strain' and 'Cable Strain' for inclusion in the graphs and reports.

PE.fiberoptics has developed technology that is suited both to the standard tests as carried out in the factory as well as to specialist measurements that are occasionally needed in field applications.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables as well as optical component manufacturers and with special guidance may be used in field applications.

Cable & Fiber Strain Measurement Solutions


Attenuation/Spectral Attenuation

Attenuation in an optical fiber occurs as a result of the way the light interactwith the structure of the fiber both at a microscopic and a macroscopic level. It is one othe parameters that can significantly be affected by the processes used to manufacture and install the cable.

All the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms that create this loss of signal are known to be wavelength dependent and as such are normally measured over the useable spectrum for which the fiber is designed,hence the term 'Spectral Attenuation' is used.

There are three main mechanisms to be considered:

  • Scattering
  • Absorption
  • Bending

Whilst it is possible to determine the effects of some of the mechanisms individually, the main purposes of this measurement is to yield a value that describes the sum of all the mechanisms with the fiber in a relaxed and unstressed state.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables as well as optical component manufacturers. 

The 'Field Equipment' range is suitable for measuring installed links in the field.

Attenuation/Spectral Attenuation Measurement Solutions


Bending Loss

Attenuation in an optical fiber occurs as a result of the way the light interacts with the structure of the fiber both at a microscopic and a macroscopic level. It is one of the parameters that can significantly be affected by the processes used to manufacture and install the cable.

All the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms that create this loss of signal are known to be wavelength dependent and as such are normally measured over the useable spectrum for which the fiber is designed,hence the term 'Spectral Attenuation' is used.

There are three main mechanisms to be considered:

  • Scattering
  • Absorption
  • Bending

It is possible to determine the effects of some of the mechanisms individually, and in this instance, the attenuation will be measured as a function of a predefined bending characteristic.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables. It is considered unlikely that this measurement would be required in a field environment. 

Bending Loss Measurement Solutions


Hydrogen Aging

Attenuation in an optical fiber occurs as a result of the way the light interacts with the structure of the fiber both at a microscopic and a macroscopic level. It is one of the parameters that can be affected by the processes used to manufacture the fiber and the cable.

All the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms that create this loss of signal are known to be wavelength dependent and as such are normally measured over the useable spectrum for which the fiber is designed,hence the term 'Spectral Attenuation' is used.

Exposure of the fiber to Hydrogen has the potential to slightly increase the attenuation caused by absorption across the spectrum but with certain wavelengths, this additional attenuation can be significantly greater. 

Measurement of the attenuation at these more sensitive wavelengths before and after exposure to Hydrogen will yield a good measure of how well the fiber is protected from such effects.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables where this in process test is usually performed.. 

Hydrogen Aging Measurement Solutions


Cutoff Wavelength

Cutoff wavelength in an optical fiber is defined as the wavelength above which all but the most strongly guided mode are lost from the core. This occurs as a result of the way the light interacts with the structure of the fiber at a macroscopic level. The main mechanism by which these weakly guided modes are lost from the core is 'bending'. Even with the fiber in its straightest condition, macro-bending conditions still exist, so the weakly guided modes are subject to bend induced attenuation.

The bending loss of all guided modes is wavelength dependant, so this loss is tested over a spectral range large enough to capture the point at which only the most strongly guided mode remains with the fiber held in its nominally straight condition.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables. It is considered unlikely that this measurement would be required in a field environment. 

Cutoff Wavelength Measurement Solutions


Mode Field Diameter (MFD)

The mode field diameter(MFD) is the width of the fundamental (most strongly guided) mode in a single mode fiber above its cutoff wavelength. 

Any significant difference in MFD at the splice/joint will cause unacceptably high losses.

Whilst the MFD characteristics are frozen at the time of manufacture and as such are relatively fixed for the life of the fiber, it is a parameter that is influenced by various properties within the fiber that do vary along its length. It is therefore is useful and considered good practice to measure the MFD even within a cable manufacturing environment to ensure the consistency of the product.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables. It is considered unlikely that this measurement would be required in a field environment. 

Mode Field Diameter (MFD) Measurement Solutions


Effective Area (Aeff)

Similar to Mode Field Diameter(MFD), the effective area of the fundamental mode is a measure of the area over which the energy in the electric field is distributed. 

Aeff in a single mode optical fiber determines how much energy the core can can carry without causing non-linear type signal losses. This parameter is important for DWDM applications.

Whilst the Aeff characteristics are frozen at the time of manufacture and as such are fixed for the life of the fiber, it is a parameter that is influenced by various properties within the fiber that do vary along its length, so it is useful to measure the Aeff even within a cable manufacturing environment to ensure the consistency of the product.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables. It is considered unlikely that this measurement would be required in a field environment. 

Effective Area (Aeff) Measurement Solutions


Multimode Numerical Aperture (NA)

Numerical aperture (NA) is an important characteristic in a multimode fiber. It defines the maximum angle at which a fiber can accept the light that needs to be transmitted through it. The higher an optical fiber's NA, the larger the cone of light that can be injected into its core.

The major advantage of Graded-index multimode fiber is that it has a relatively high NA. This means it can be used with relatively low cost optical components and light sources that have large spot sizes and which can be easily coupled to the core.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables. It is considered unlikely that this measurement would be required in a field environment. 

Multimode Numerical Aperture (NA) Measurement Solutions


Fiber Geometry

Geometry is the most fundamental of characteristics of the optical fiber and is indicative of the quality control at the manufacturing stage.

The Geometry of the optical fiber will determine if it is possible to splice two fibers with an acceptably low loss.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables. It is considered unlikely that this measurement would be required in a field environment. Like most optical characteristics, the geometry of the fiber is frozen at the time of manufacturing and is not known to vary throughout its operating life but does vary along the its length and so it is useful and considered good practice to measure the geometry even within a cable manufacturing environment to ensure the consistency of the product.

Fiber Geometry Measurement Solutions


Fiber Coating Geometry

The Coating Geometry of the optical fiber has a direct influence on its micro bending sensitivity so it is important to ensure that its geometrical characteristics are within allowable limits.

The coating geometry is frozen at the time of manufacturing but it does drift throughout the life of the fiber. In addition, most cablers apply a coloured layer to the coating prior to cabling, so it is useful and indeed good practice to measure the total diameter of the coated fiber to ensure the consistency of the product.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables. It is considered unlikely that this measurement would be required in a field environment. 

Fiber Coating Geometry Measurement Solutions


Fiber Curl

Curl in an optical fiber is a by-product of the stresses that exist at the manufacturing stage and are frozen into the fiber. The curl does not generally change throughout the life of the fiber.

The degree of curl in the fiber is interesting as it has a known influence on the usability of a particular fiber in a ribbon structure. When attempting to splice a ribbon fiber structure, the effect of any curl exhibited by the fiber will be visible in the splicing machines display and will result in one or more of the the splices in the ribbon having higher than normal loss.

Like most optical characteristics, the curl of the fiber is frozen at the time of manufacturing and is not known to vary throughout its operating life. It does however vary along the its length and so it is useful and considered good practice to measure the curl even within a cable manufacturing environment to ensure the consistency of the product.

The 'Production/Lab/R&D' range is suitable for manufacturers of fiber and cables. It is considered unlikely that this measurement would be required in a field environment. 

Fiber Curl Measurement Solutions