The function of OTDR
An OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer) is used in fiber optics to measure the time and intensity of the light reflected on an optical fiber.
An OTDR can detect such light loss and pinpoint trouble areas, making repairs easy. The more quickly trouble areas are identified and addressed, the less your fiber optic network will suffer from data transfer problems. More to the point, it is used as a troubleshooting device to find faults, splices, and bends in fiber optic cables, with an eye toward identifying light loss. Light loss is especially important in fiber optic cables because it can interfere with the transmission of data.
The OTDR is not perfect, of course. Critics charge that it can produce inaccurate results if two trouble spots are very close together or if the pulse has a long travel length. Experts also urge training in order to interpret the data correctly. Another factor is the relatively high price for a device that might be used only sparingly.
Proponents, however, counter that being able to pinpoint and address light loss points is well worth the price, both for the OTDR device and for the training needed to operate and properly understand the data that that OTDR records.
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