Abstract

We present a comprehensive mathematical formalism, together with its numerical implementation, for optical time-domain reflectometry (OTDR) simulations with the ability to produce OTDR traces of passive optical point-to-multipoint networks (PONs). According to our knowledge, the proposed OTDR simulator is the first one with this feature, thus progressing beyond the existing state of the art of OTDR simulations. In our approach, the optical fiber network under test is treated as a linear time-invariant single-input/single-output system, which allows us to include the effects of the OTDR pulse shape. Furthermore, the limitations of current OTDR equipment such as (nonlinear) power saturation of the detector, limited dynamic range due to OTDR noise, and the finite bandwidth of the detector, are also incorporated into the simulation model. Our simulation results are experimentally verified with OTDR measurements, and we show an excellent agreement between the simulated traces and the measured traces. Especially, we demonstrate that the simulations properly handle PONs, that may contain a cascade of splitters, providing an important tool for telecom operators to investigate cost-effective centralized monitoring techniques in fiber-to-the-home networks.

© 2014 IEEE

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