Fiber Characterization Course

Fiber Characterization Technician



This three-day course will provide you with all the knowledge and requirements that are needed to effectively characterize your optical infrastructure. You will learn about all the requirements for engineering and for qualifying the optical fiber links that utilize specific bit rates in regards to both metro and long haul spans.

After taking this course, students will have a detailed understanding of advanced OTDR configuration, cause and effect of trace events, and other advanced trace analysis techniques including bi-directional splice characterization and optical return loss testing.



Available Certifications

Students must pass exam to be certified.

TFS FCT Certification $150

Call 877.529.9114



In this extensive hands-on training each student will:

  • Learn about the tests that are required for fiber characterization
  • Learn about transmission limits as a function of bit rate and application
  • Learn about the effects of Chromatic Dispersion and Polarization Mode Dispersion on high speed signals such as 10G, 40G, and 100G
  • Learn about OTDR theory and bi-directional splice characterization
  • Learn about ORL and the consequences of high ORL
  • Learn how to measure Chromatic and Polarization Mode Dispersion
  • Conduct all tests required for fiber characterization
  • Test one complete span and compile all test data into a comprehensive report
  • Use an OLTS, OTDR, CD and PMD tester



  1. Introduction to Fiber Characterization
    • What is Fiber Characterization?
    • Why is it needed?
    • Legacy Networks and Today’s Networks
  2. Fiber Optic Basic Review
    • Transmission Basics
    • Light Propagation
    • Causes of Optical Loss
    • Types of Fiber
  3. Inspection and Cleaning of Fibers
    • Inspection Tools
    • Proper Cleaning Practices
    • Inspection Assessment
  4. End to End Loss
    • Connector Loss
    • Splice Loss
    • Power Budget Calculations
    • Test Methodologies
    • OTLS Functionality
  5. Optical Return Loss
    • Consequences of High ORL
    • ORL Limits
    • ORL Test Tools
    • ORL Testing
  6. OTDR
    • How an OTDR Works
    • Reflectance
    • Dead Zones
    • Setting up the OTDR
    • Manual Measurements
  7. Chromatic Dispersion
    • Causes of Chromatic Dispersion
    • Limits of Chromatic Dispersion
    • Chromatic Dispersion Testing
    • Compensation
  8. Polarization Mode Dispersion
    • Causes of PMD
    • Mode Coupling
    • PMD Limits
    • PMD Testing
    • Isolating High PMD Areas
  9. Bi-Directional Trace Analysis
    • Post Analysis Software
    • Creating Templates
    • Applying Templates
    • Generating Splice Reports
  10. Reports
    • Transferring Data
    • Compiling Data
    • Generate Report
  • Hands-On Workshop (Optional) – This optional hands-on workshop is designed for those who desire more intensive hands-on training for immediate entry into their specific field of study. Students typically take advantage of this workshop by adding an additional day to any of’s hands-on training courses.


There are no labs associated with this course.

Prerequisites: Level 3

Master in Testing (TR-MFT) is the prerequisite to become a fiber characterization technician. Although not required, Fiber Characterization Basics (TR-FCB) is the recommended online prerequisite for this course. 

Target Audience

This course is designed for installers, system managers, technicians, engineers, designers, contractors, and supervisors. It is for new or experienced personnel seeking a deeper understanding of the installation of fiber optic cabling systems. This course is excellent for anyone involved in the construction, education, commercial, industrial, or utility markets and anyone who designs, installs, maintains, or tests fiber optic cabling systems.



 Available Dates & Locations


Remember, if you have 5 or more students, we can bring our class to you at your own facility – saving you time and money!

Customized Training

Any of our courses can be customized to focus on your needs – like using specific equipment, or working in a particular situation.

Cancellation Policy

We reserve the right to cancel any course. A full refund will be provided unless the student elects to transfer to another course or time.

No refunds will be granted for student cancellation, but substitutions are permitted.