Why clean optical fibres? Contamination Migrates…
There are two sides to a connection. Cleaning only one side will result in a 50% chance of the connection performing properly, but 50% chance there could be trouble.
50% of fibre optic network failures are caused by dirt, creating increased Insertion and Return Losses plus reduction in data transmission rates.
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What are the results of contamination?
A major optical system manufacturer has stated that more than 30% of the optical boards returned from the field were found to only have contaminated optical ports. No other problem was found. Proper cleaning would have saved time and money.
What causes contamination?
There are three main causes of fibre optic network failure due to contamination:
Insertion loss refers to a decrease in transmitted signal power. i.e. a reduced amount of light is received at one end than was introduced at the other. A small degree of insertion loss is inevitable due to the introduction of devices into a line such as connectors, but insertion loss needs to be kept to a minimum to keep signal level at its maximum. Contamination of optical ports can increase insertion loss dramatically causing network failures.
Back reflection, also known as return loss, is when some of a signal transmitted down the line is reflected back to its origin rather than being carried to its intended destination. Dirt found on contaminated optical ports causes back reflection that can result in network failures.
During the manufacture of fibre optics, poorly cleaned optic cables can lead to fibre termination which is the result of poor fibre adhesion to the ferrule casing. The fibre moves out of position in the ferrule creating a recession at the fibre end face which inhibits the transmission of the signal down the line.