A Future-Proof, Best Practice, Open-Architecture (Vendor Neutral) Means to Inspect and Clean Fiber Optic Surfaces

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As inconceivable as it may seem, existing fiber optic inspection standards consider (characterize) the three-dimensional connector in limited two-dimensions. Cleaning standards reflect this limitation. Fiber Optic Connector Surfaces, as characterized by IEC 61300-3-35, are an essential minimum requirement for those planning and working on the contemporary fiber optic connector. IEC TR-62627 sets an important minimum requirement for cleaning. These have been in place for almost 25 years. The industry has advanced and considering the connector as a three-dimensional structure with unseen potential soil points is a critical 'future-proof/best practice'.

A new device provides three-dimensional, cost effective and accurate inspection of IEC Surfaces and expands to the total connector. One common-ground cleaning procedure for all four industry segments is fundamentally sound advice. Thereby, not only are connections maximized in all classes of transmission, but also workers and network designers have important commonality since production products are deployed into field service. A unified procedure benefits production line and OSP. There is critical need to retrain to better understand the discipline of production line and the vicissitudes of field installations.

The fiber optic connector includes: 1.) transmission connector horizontal end-face ferrule surfaces, 2.) transmission connector vertical ferrule and surround, 3.) connector adapter shell/housing, 3a.) Adapter alignment sleeve, and 4.) connector intersurfaces as separate components. As connectors evolve, so may this definition.

IEC 61300-3-35 is the internationally recognized standard that characterize a fiber optic surface into four (4) zones. These "zones" define a limited area on the horizontal end face as seen in the graphics.

Debris may be present and cross-contaminate from unseen and unrealized surfaces, The new instrument establishes "Primary Surfaces" defined by IEC 61300-3-35 and all others as "Secondary Surfaces". Extensive field experience, research and reality (that the surfaces are three-dimensional numerous potential soil points) leads to an important higher standard.

Currently, there are two cleaning procedures: a ‘dry method’ which is good on a fluidic contaminant and a ‘wet-to-dry’ method which is acceptable for dry debris. Neither the "Dry Method" or "Wet-to-Dry" have clear process definition. There is a wide range of cleaning tools that meet the existing standard.

In 2011, Telcordia published an OSP/Field Service standard: GR-2023-Core and added a third cleaning procedure. The debris used to establish Telcordia guidelines are more difficult to remove than currently required. "Worst Case Leads to Best Practice" and a third procedure, "Solvent Transfer" enables the popular cleaning tools to return near 1st time cleaning rather than as standardized "up to 5 times before replacement or warranty". The third process defines the amount of solvent, the cleaning substrate and an actual physical procedure.

All four operations, Production Line, Data Center, FTTX, and, Special Applications may encounter complex debris, often in sectors not seen by existing inspection. There is need to retrain whereby all segments benefit from one ‘open architecture’ and vendor-neutral cleaning procedure based on inspection of surfaces as three-dimensional structures. These are best practice/future proof procedures not as now.



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  • Name:
    Edward J Forrest Jr
  • Type of entry: