The optical time domain reflectometer, OTDR, is one of the most versatile and widely used pieces of fibre optic test equipment. One important application of OTDR'S is the measurement of fibre uniformity where the OTDR is of considerable potential as a QA tool for characterising fibre attenuation and backscatter uniformity. Although advances in OTDR instrumentation have enabled them to become capable of considerable precision, the lack of recognised and proven calibration procedures and specification standards is limiting the application of OTDR'S as accurate, cost-effective measurement tools.
This project seeks to prepare an OTDR calibration artefact, to use the artefact to calibrate a range of commercial OTDRS and then evaluate them as accurate measurement tools for fibre attenuation, attenuation uniformity and backscatter uniformity.
Having prepared the calibration artefact, it will be circulated along with a uniform and non-uniform fibre on which a range of measurements will be made.
Comparison and analysis of these measurements will enable the effectiveness of the calibration technique to be assessed as well as proposed test methods for fibre uniformity. This work will complement the present discussion on OTDR calibration procedures within IEC, TC86, WG4 and within CECC, WG28 on attenuation and backscatter uniformity test methods.