The new AQ7277B from Yokogawa Europe is a high-performance optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) module for use with remote fibre-test systems (RFTS). Continuous monitoring of optical fibre lines using OTDR technology can speed up the identification and location of failures by detecting increased loss in the fibre line, and facilitates restorative maintenance.
Today’s regulatory regime has made it more important than ever for telecom carriers to proactively monitor and maintain their fibre networks, according to Yokogawa. Huge penalties in service level agreements and quality of service commitments give carriers the financial incentive to invest in maintaining their fibre networks.
“Detecting fibre degradation before failure while reducing mean time to repair is key to succeeding in today’s competitive business environment, and the time saved by using an RFTS to locate and isolate the first fibre break can pay for itself by yielding a full return on investment and achieving a higher level of customer satisfaction through improved quality of service,” said Terry Marrinan, vice president, test and measurement, Europe and South East Asia, for Yokogawa Test & Measurement Europe.
The hardware of the AQ7277B OTDR module is based on Yokogawa’s established AQ7280 OTDR, with its superior optical performance in terms of short dead zone (0.6 m typical) and high dynamic range (up to 50 dB). Moreover, its size is reduced by 60 per cent compared to its predecessor, which improves its integration into the RFTS. Now its dimensions are 230mm (W) × 50mm (H) × 140mm (D), and weight is approximately 1kg.
There are two models in the AQ7277B family, both equipped with an Ethernet (10BASE-T/100BASE-TX) interface as standard. The AQ7277B-B01 takes measurements at 1650nm, a wavelength that does not affect the communication wavelengths of 1310/1490/1550nm. It is equipped with a built-in cut-off filter to isolate it from wavelengths lower than 1650nm, and so can perform accurate measurements on “live” lines (where active communication signals are travelling). This model is also optimised for testing passive optical networks (PON), and can measure through the high-port-count splitters used in modern PON systems.
With a 50dB dynamic range, the model AQ7277B-B02 is designed for monitoring long-distance optical fibres over distances in excess of 200km under real-life environmental conditions. It operates at a wavelength of 1550nm.