Optical Return Loss (1990)

By R. Todd Hudson, Siecor Corp.

Because CATV applications are pushing the limits of fiber transmission equipment, a high quality optical fiber system is essential for the required performance. In most systems to date, the sole measure of this quality has been the attenuation of the link. However, a primary concern in CATV systems is the sensitivity of most AM fiber transmitters to reflections.

An understanding of what causes reflections in fiber systems, measures taken to minimize these, and methods to specify and test return loss for individual components and installed systems will provide the designer/installer with the tools to ensure a fiber optic system with optimum signal quality and flexibility.

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