Test and measurement

FEATURE

Fibre characterisation in the coherent era

Fibre characterisation has been a part of my career since I joined York Technology in 1983. York had developed the FCm 1000, the first automatic fibre characterisation machine. This mighty machine could measure all of the fibre’s critical parameters, including end face geometry, mode field diameter and refractive index profile, as well as perform optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) testing, spectral attenuation measurements and, for multimode fibres, find the modal dispersion.

FEATURE

Testing times

As data rates increase across fibre networks, optical loss budgets are being driven down - attenuation through the system must be lower than ever because there is less tolerance for overall loss of light.

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As data demand ramps ever higher, researchers are looking to innovative amplifier designs to help transport a broader light spectrum through optical fibres, finds Andy Extance

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Duncan Ellis shares his views about the increased focus on automation from network operators, and how the physical layer has so far stubbornly resisted the move

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Switching off copper networks where fibre has been deployed is the end game, so why are so few operators doing it, wonders Pauline Rigby

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With demand for fibre to the premises increasing, Keely Portway looks at the role training plays in ensuring installation skills remain available to meet this growing demand

Analysis and opinion