Explanation of Insertion Loss and Return Loss

Explanation of Insertion Loss and Return Loss

Insertion Loss and Return Loss are key optical parameters of of polished fiber optic connectors. These two parameters are used to evaluate the quality of fiber optic patch cables, pigtails, PON splitters etc.

Insertion loss refers to the optical power loss caused when a fiber optic connector coupled with another to form a fiber optic link. Insertion loss can result from absorption, misalignment or air gap between the fiber optic components. The insertion loss value is more less, the fiber connection will be more better. Generally, for fiber cable assemblies, we control insertion loss value of fiber optic connectors lower than 0.3dB. As per customers request, we could offer fiber patch cables, pigtails with insertion loss lower than 0.2dB or 0.1dB.

Return loss refers to the optical light reflected back at fiber connection point. The higher return loss value means the lower reflection and the better fiber connection. According to industry standard, The return loss of PC polished fiber optic connectors should be more than 40dB, the return loss of Ultra PC polished fiber optic connectors should be more than 50dB, and angled polished fiber connectors should have more than 60dB return loss.

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