Testing with an OLTS & OTDR

Testing with both an OTDR and an OLTS is referred to as “Tier 2” testing within TIA standards and “extended” testing within ISO standards.

  • An OLTS provides the most accurate insertion loss measurement on a link by using a light source on one end and a power meter at the other to measure exactly how much light is coming out at the opposite end. 
  • An OTDR characterizes the loss of the link for individual splices and connectors by transmitting light pulses into a fiber and measuring the amount of light reflected from each pulse.

While the measurements taken by these two instruments seem similar, they perform distinct yet important roles. This article explains how these testers work when to use them and how they complement each other when it comes to ensuring the performance of today’s fiber optic links and maximizing customer satisfaction.

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