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Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR)

Definition - What does Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) mean?

An optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) is a device used to precisely detect faults in an optical fiber link of a communication network. Its function includes generation and transmission of a series of high-speed optical pluses within the fiber.

Techopedia explains Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR)

Fiber communication system maintenance depends on optical time domain reflectometers. An OTDR simply generates a pulse inside a fiber to be tested for faults or defects. Different events within the fiber create a Rayleigh back scatter. Pulses are returned to the OTDR and their strengths are then measured and calculated as a function of time and plotted as a function of fiber stretch. The strength and returned signal tell about the location and intensity of the fault present. Not only maintenance, but also optical line installation services utilize OTDRs. Additionally, nationwide telephone exchanges and poles within the network use OTDRs for smooth functioning.

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