Newly Developed Optical Fiber Line Testing System Employing Bi-Directional OTDRs for PON and In-Service Line Testing Criteria

Yusuke KOSHIKIYA  Noriyuki ARAKI  Hisashi IZUMITA  Fumihiko ITO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E90-B   No.10   pp.2793-2802
Publication Date: 2007/10/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1093/ietcom/e90-b.10.2793
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Optical Fiber for Communications
maintenance,  optical fiber testing,  optical time domain reflectometer,  fault location,  

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A passive optical network (PON) that provides fiber to the home (FTTH) services is a fundamental access network topology in Japan. An optical fiber line monitoring and testing system is essential if we are to improve service reliability and reduce the maintenance costs of optical access networks. PONs have optical splitters in their optical fiber lines. It is difficult to find a fault in an optical fiber line equipped with an optical splitter by using a conventional optical fiber line testing system, which uses optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) in a central office (CO), because Rayleigh backscattering from the branched fibers accumulates in the OTDR trace. This paper describes a newly developed optical fiber line testing method that employs bi-directional OTDRs with two wavelengths at branched fiber regions in a PON to locate a fault precisely. Optical fiber line testing is conducted by two OTDRs that are installed in a CO and on a customer's premises, respectively. The OTDR in the CO has a U-band maintenance wavelength. We present two kinds of maintenance wavelength allocation for OTDRs on a customer's premises, which are in the U-band and C-band respectively. An OTDR whose maintenance wavelength is in the U-band enables us to test in-service PON lines simply by filtering the U-band wavelength. For the maintenance wavelengths in the C-band, we can use a cost-effective conventional OTDR to test the PON from the customer's premises on condition that we clarify the peak pulse power limit and dynamic range. We describe the test procedures for both cases. We also clarify the insertion loss design for an optical filter in the CO when using the U-band to provide the maintenance wavelength and the criteria for in-service line testing when the using C-band to provide the maintenance wavelength. To confirm the feasibility of our approach, we demonstrate a bi-directional OTDR method using the U-band and the C-band, and the test procedure, which successfully detected fault locations in branched fiber regions. We also describe the use of packet loss measurements to investigate the effect of in-service line testing with an OTDR in the C-band on data communication quality.