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Optical fibre

Calibration of fibre optic power meters and sources

Ensuring reliable measurements

The measurement of optical power is crucial in the implementation of fibre optic technology, resulting in fibre optic power meters being amongst the most commonly used pieces of test equipment in the telecommunications industry. Unfortunately, they are also the most susceptible to contamination, requiring regular traceable calibration to ensure continuity of accurate and consistent measurements.

Fibre optic power metersNPL's power meter measurement service for absolute response determines the ratio between the value of the input power (power level) of the laser source and the result as provided by the power meter. The ratio is the correction factor of the power meter to the power level. To achieve these measurements NPL's transfer standards are traceable to NPL's primary standard, the cryogenic radiometer. This is a UKAS accredited service.

Absolute responsivity of the fibre optic power meters with:

  • FC/PC connectors: ± 1.0%
  • SC/PC connectors: Single mode ± 1.0% & Multimode ± 1.5%
  • FC/APC or SC/APC connectors: ± 2.0%

Linearity of response:   

  • Superposition technique: ± 0.05%
  • Comparison technique: ± 0.3%

Effective centre wavelength of laser source:

  • Spectral line width <5 nm: 0.30 nm
  • Spectral line width 5 nm – 50 nm: 1.2 nm
  • Spectral line width (FWHM): 0.10 nm
  • Output power stability of fibre optic light sources: 0.0040 dB

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