September 8, 2009 -- DSM Desotech, a developer and supplier of UV-curable fiber-optic materials, has announced a plan to work with Telcordia Technologies Inc. to drive standardization for the characterization of microbending performance in optical fiber and cable products.
Microbending occurs when numerous random microscopic bends develop along the optical fiber axis. The cumulative effect of these very small fiber axis perturbations can lead to increases in attenuation and may ultimately result in the loss of signal transmission. Microbending-induced attenuation can result from non-uniform external loads, such as a fiber being forced onto cabling materials, fiber-to-fiber contacting points, or fiber being pressed on any rough surface.
Optical fiber can be particularly vulnerable to microbending-induced attenuation at low temperatures. The current Telcordia Generic Requirements for Optical Fiber and Optical Fiber Cable (GR-20) does not specifically address either low-temperature microbending performance or test methods. DSM Desotech and Telcordia aim to remedy this by defining performance specifications and promoting standards development and adoption.
"As FTTX networks continue to expand at greater investment costs than ever before, we believe there is a benefit to adding requirements to GR-20 to more fully characterize and address the issue of microbending-induced transmission loss in optical fiber and cable," said Dr. Osman Gebizlioglu, principal consultant, Telcordia. "We hope to drive a more in-depth assessment, measurement, and understanding of this issue and, ultimately, to arrive at specification(s) for low-temperature microbending performance that will enhance the performance and reliability of optical fiber networks being built for the future."
As part of the agreement, Telcordia will document the current state of low-temperature microbending performance and the various test methods that can be used to characterize microbending performance in optical fiber and cable products. This information will be included in a new Issues List (ILR) for GR-20-CORE along with other issues that are not currently addressed in GR-20-CORE. This ILR document will be used to inform the fiber-optic communications industry of developments in product performance and measurement methods.
Telcordia will also prepare and issue a Special Report (SR) to present an assessment of the current state of understanding of the low-temperature microbending performance of optical fiber coating products, as well as conduct an independent third-party evaluation of DSM's third-generation DeSolite Supercoatings products. This assessment will ultimately present service providers with a realistic analysis of the benefits that DeSolite Supercoatings will offer in their networks DSM asserts.