Time-Domain Reflectometry

What Does Time-Domain Reflectometry Mean?

Time-domain reflectometry (TDR) identifies and measures errors related to aerial and underground cable and fiber optic wiring through the analysis of pulse reflection polarity.


The TDR technique accurately detects errors and bugs in amplitude, frequencies and other electrical signatures.

TDR variations include Spread-Spectrum Time-Domain Reflectometry (SSTDR) and Coherent Optical Time Domain Reflectometry (COTDR).

Techopedia Explains Time-Domain Reflectometry

TDR is a key diagnostic technique for high-speed digital circuit systems.

TDR begins with system energy pulse signals transmitted to conductors. Subsequent reflected energy is then observed. Transmission variance detection is enabled by studying reflection shape, magnitude and duration.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…