Standards Update, February 2021
March 10, 2021 / Seymour Goldstein / General
I bet you are all wondering what installed fiber optic testing standards are in process for this year. Here is a short list by committees for those of you that want to keep up to date.
TIA-526-14 revision D: Installed cable plant - multimode attenuation measurement. It has been proposed that TR42.11 “adopt” the latest edition 3 of IEC 61280-4-1, the multimode attenuation measurement of installed cabling standard. TR42.11 adopted edition 2 if the IEC document back in 2015, and the IEC is expected to put edition 3 out for ballot this summer. The adoption will be made by adding a Foreword to the IEC document. The Foreword is essentially a two-page cover sheet explaining the changes made in IEC 61280-4-1 edition 2 to edition 3. These changes are:
- Inclusion of an additional equipment cord method for setting the reference when making channel measurements
- The use of bend insensitive multimode fiber in test cords
- Light source spectral requirements refinements
- Measurement uncertainty additions
- Multimode launch conditions clarification
- The use of reference grade test cords
- TIA-526-7 revision B: Installed Cable Plant - Single-mode attenuation and optical return loss measurement. This standard is another adoption of an IEC standard, IEC 61280-4-2 (see SC86C/WG1 heading). Work hasn’t started on the IEC revision and project completion could take up to two years. The group decided to wait for the next revision of IEC 61280-4-2 and keep TIA-526-7 on a 5-year maintenance cycle.
- TIA-526-28: attenuation measurement of MPO terminated fiber optic cabling plant using test equipment with MPO interfaces. This is proposed new work, an adoption of IEC 61280-4-5, a recently published IEC standard. TIA has no multifiber test standard within its TIA-526-x document series and a new project was initiated in late 2020. Adoption or adaption has not been determined. The motion for a first ballot passed.
ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC25 Interconnection of Information Technology Equipment SC25/WG3
ISO/IEC 14763-3: Implementation and operation of customer premises cabling - Testing of optical fibre cabling. A new committee draft (CD) is in process. Changes from the previous edition will include:
- Removal of plastic fibre testing
- Addition of testing of MPO cabling
- Addition of end-to-end link light source/power meter (LSPM) testing
- Addition of modular plug terminated link (MPTL) LSPM testing
- Addition of measurement uncertainty for all measurement methods
- Introduction of normative inspection for cleanliness to align with ISO/IEC 11801
- Testing will support single-mode ranges up to 10 km
- Introduction of new test limits for connector attenuation against reference connector
- Introduction of reference connectors and test cords
IEC 61280-4-1: Installed Cable Plant – Multimode attenuation measurement, Amendment 1. The amendment is in committee draft, was previously vetted, and waiting for a final vote. The Amendment makes the following changes:
- Except for the OTDR method, the test reference cords shall be 2 meters to 10 meters in length and bend insensitive multimode fiber is permitted to be used.
- IEC 61280-4-2, Installed Cable Plant – Single-mode attenuation and optical return loss measurement. This standard was published in 2014 and needs a review and update to reflect current industry practices and trends.
- IEC 61280-4-3 Installed passive optical networks – Attenuation and optical return loss measurements. This standard is new and in committee draft. It addresses an existing gap for PON testing.
IEC 61300-3-35: Visual inspection of fibre optic connectors and fibre-stub transceivers. This standard was first published in 2009 and has undergone a succession of changes. Experts continue to refine the document. The new edition includes the following significant changes unless further changes are made during working group review:
- Adding a statement that visual inspection is not a substitute for optical qualification such as attenuation and return loss measurements
- Adding requirements for single-mode 35 dB return loss connectors
- Addition of a sentence concerning the susceptibility of the methods to system variability and variability within systems from the same supplier
- Adding a statement that specified inspection requirements are an agreed quality level of the industry for newly shipped connectors
- Removal of inspection requirements for zones C and D (epoxy ring and ferrule surface)
- Insertion of a generic cleanliness specification for the whole rectangular ferrule and 250 μm area around every fiber
- Adding a cleaning recommendation for rectangular and cylindrical ferrules