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Basic fiber optics and loss testing (IL and ORL)

Although this course was originally designed for beginners in the fiber optics industry, we have found that it can also serve as a good refresher for more experienced technicians who were never offered any formal training in fiber optics.

1 day
Live online


After completing this course, you will have a substantial comprehension of light propagation theory and an overall understanding of the fundamentals of fiber optics. This course also covers loss testing methods, particularly insertion loss (IL) and optical return loss (ORL). The testing part of the course includes theory and hands-on sessions for both IL and ORL measurements.

This course covers
  • Advantages of fiber optics over copper wire
  • Principles of light propagation
  • Causes of fiber attenuation
  • Common types of fibers and connectors (pros and cons)
  • Sources, detectors and other fundamental components
  • Difference between measurements units: watts, dBm, dB
  • Insertion loss measurements using an optical source and a power meter
  • Referenced measurements in dB
  • Causes of reflectance in the fiber
  • Reflectance measurements using a backreflection meter
  • Reflectance vs. ORL


Basic comprehension of math and physics


The training consists mainly of lectures using PowerPoint presentations and demonstrations, but also includes specific hands-on workshops on IL and ORL testing.


Attendees will receive a binder containing copies of presentations and other handouts.