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Understanding OTDRs - A Fiber University Self-Study Program
|Lesson Plan. Optical Time Domain Reflectometers||Level: Technician, CFOT
|What You Will Learn In This Basic Self-Study Program:
Includes a PC-OTDR Simulator
This lesson plan is designed to familiarize anyone in fiber optics with the technology and processes involved in using OTDRs for testing optical fiber and cables. OTDRs are very useful test tools but all too often are misused, if the questions we get about them at the FOA are any indication. It's important to understand how the OTDR works and how it makes a very different measurement than a light souce and power meter or OLTS (optical loss test set). It's important to understand the measurement uncertainty of the OTDR and common artifacts in the trace including "gainers" and "ghosts."
To help you understand OTDRs, we have included a PC-OTDR Simulator you can download and use to see how the OTDR works and practice using it.
This program has been developed as a cooperative effort of many volunteers from the FOA. If you have comments or suggestions on how to improve it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How This Self-Study Program Works:
This Fiber U self-study program has sections to read and an OTDR Simulator to use for practice. Read the introduction to OTDRs page from the FOA Online Reference Guide to Fiber Optics or Chapter 8 in the FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics printed book. Take the OTDR Virtual Hands-On Tutorial online. Some of the pages will have online quizzes for you to test your comprehension, as will each chapter in the textbook. For each section, you should take the quiz and check your answers, returning to the study materials to find out why you missed any questions. When you finish all lessons, you should download the OTDR Simulator and practice.
Learning More and Developing Skills
If you are just getting started, you should consider attending an FOA-Approved school where you will be trained in hands-on labs to develop the skills needed to be successful in fiber optics. If you are already a CFOT with field experience, you should consider working toward the FOA CFOS/T specialist certification in fiber optic testing.
You can take this Fiber U Online course using either of these online or printed reference materials.
FOA Online Reference Guide to Fiber Optics
FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics textbook (also available as an eBook on the Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad/iPhone)
Let's get started!
Read the materials linked on each lesson plan and use the OTDR Simulator to practice analyzing OTDR traces.
This information is provided by The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. as a benefit tothose interested in teaching, designing, manufacturing, selling, installing or using fiber optic communications systems or networks. It is intended to be used as aoverview and/or basic guidelines and in no way should be considered to be complete or comprehensive. These guidelines are strictly the opinion of the FOAand the reader is expected to use them as a basis for learning, as a reference and for creating their own documentation, project specifications, etc. Thoseworking with fiber optics in the classroom, laboratory or field should follow all safety rules carefully. The FOA assumes no liability for the use of any ofthis material.
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