AEN 135 explains and recommends standard measurement methods for characterizing optical fiber system performance. AEN 135 also provides background information on system link configurations, test equipment and system component considerations that influence overall system performance.
Fiber optic systems include both passive components and active electronics. Passive components consist of all the links and connections that unite communication devices on the overall network. System performance is typically evaluated on an individual link basis between any two given nodes of the network. A fiber optic link is usually terminated on one or both ends by adapters, or “patch panels” that physically serve to connect the transmit and receive ports on a network communications channel. Patchcords or equipment jumpers are used to bridge the network electronic ports to the fiber optic link contained between patch panels (also known as “cross-connects”).
System performance pertains to any measurable specification that characterizes a given communication network’s capabilities. In the context of fiber optic testing, this term is usually applied without deference to any specific set of network electronics. In other words, when a fiber optic link’s performance is evaluated, it is only the passive components that are evaluated. The assumption is that whatever network electronics are eventually connected to the fiber optic link will support the required network application and/or protocol (as determined by the network owner or customer). The decision of which network applications and/or protocols need to be supported by the passive fiber optic network should be made during the network planning stages of the design (prior to the actual installation).
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