To help cable installers and maintenance technicians select the correct fibre optic testing equipment, Ideal Networks has published a new, free White Paper which offers guidance on the different tiers for certifying fibre optic cabling.
Tier-1 certification is a measurement of the total insertion loss (or attenuation) of cabling from one end of the link to the other and either uses an optical power meter and optical light source (PM/LS) or an optical loss test set (OLTS) for testing.
Tier-2 certification provides loss information about each component of the link and uses an OTDR (optical time domain reflectometer) to perform certification.
When certification is required, it is good practice to perform a Tier-1 test, and optionally conduct a Tier-2 test. Although an OTDR can show the total link loss like an OLTS does, Tier-2 certification cannot replace Tier-1 certification as there is a subtle distinction between the total link loss reported by the two devices.
An OLTS, such as the Ideal Networks OC I Tier-1 fibre cable certifier, measures the true optical loss of the link, making it the most accurate way to determine end to end loss and a requirement for Tier-1 certification. However, an OTDR, like OTDR II from Ideal Networks, characterises the link, offering advanced troubleshooting for faster repairs.