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How much do you know about fiber loss?


In optical fiber installation, accurate measurement and calculation of optical fiber links are very important steps to verify network integrity and ensure network performance. The optical fiber will cause obvious signal loss (ie, fiber loss) due to light absorption and scattering, which affects the reliability of the optical transmission network. 

Type of fiber loss

Optical fiber loss is also referred to as optical attenuation, which refers to the amount of optical loss between the transmitting end and the receiving end of the optical fiber. There are many reasons for fiber loss, such as absorption/scattering of light energy by fiber material, bending loss, connector loss, etc.

All in all, there are two main reasons for fiber loss: internal factors (that is, inherent characteristics of the fiber) and external factors (that is, caused by improper operation of the fiber). Therefore, fiber loss can be divided into intrinsic fiber loss and extrinsic fiber loss. Intrinsic fiber loss is an inherent loss of fiber material, which mainly includes absorption loss, dispersion loss and scattering loss caused by structural defects; non-intrinsic fiber loss mainly includes splicing loss, connector loss and bending loss. 

Optical fiber loss standard

The Telecommunications Industry Alliance (TIA) and the Electronics Industry Alliance (EIA) jointly formulated the EIA/TIA standard, which specifies the performance and transmission requirements of optical cables and connectors, and is now widely accepted and used in the optical fiber industry. The EIA/TIA standard clarifies that the maximum attenuation is one of the most important parameters for fiber loss measurement. In fact, the maximum attenuation is the attenuation coefficient of the optical cable, in dB/km. The figure below shows the maximum attenuation of different types of optical cables in the EIA/TIA-568 standard.

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