Luna Launches New Optical Backscatter Reflectometer

Luna Technologies, a division of Luna Innovations Incorporated (NASDAQ:LUNA), today announced the launch of its Optical Backscatter Reflectometer(TM) 4200 (OBR 4200), a new generation, portable, ultra-high resolution reflectometer offering advanced inspection and diagnostic capabilities to manufacturers and installers of fiber optic assemblies and short networks.

Optical Backscatter Reflectometer™ 4200

The OBR 4200 offers 1000x higher resolution than the Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) and offers an unprecedented combination of resolution and sensitivity for the first time in a portable instrument.

Optical fiber infrastructure is being deployed more rapidly and widely than ever before in applications where the total optical fiber length is relatively short (<500 m). Applications of short-run fiber systems include telecommunications and data networking, commercial and military avionics, medical imaging systems, and fiber sensing applications for monitoring of infrastructure such as bridges, dams and oil pipelines.

"Our unique technological approach, based on swept laser interferometry, allows us to achieve the combination of resolution and sensitivity required for applications where OTDRs simply don't provide enough resolution. The OBR 4200 will allow our customers to deliver and maintain better products, which is always our goal," said Dr. Mark Froggatt, Luna Innovations' Chief Technology Officer.

Luna's OBR 4200 ultra-high resolution reflectometer is available now and will begin shipping in June.

Development of the OBR 4200 began with a joint project between Luna and the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) under a small business innovation research (SBIR) grant aimed at developing measurement technologies better suited for field support of fiber optic systems within the Naval fleet of aircraft and marine vessels. "We view the introduction of the OBR 4200 as an example of how successful our SBIR programs can be in support of critical infrastructure needs," said Mike Hackert, NAVAIR program sponsor and AMC&D Production Engineer. "This product should have substantial impact on improving the maintenance and supportability of fiber optics in the fleet."

Initial applications of the OBR 4200 instrument include total fiber system quality control to ensure component performance and network uptime; insertion and return loss verification for fiber cables, connections, components and splices; and high-resolution fault location and failure analysis to determine bend, break, bad splice and bad connector points.

Highlights of the OBR 4200 device include:

  • Portable, battery powered operation with Panasonic Toughbook(R)
  • Fault discrimination with better than 3 mm event resolution
  • Measure networks up to 500 m in length with no dead-zone
  • Rayleigh-level sensitivity down to -120 dB over entire measurement range
  • 0.1 dB insertion loss resolution with ability to identify non-reflective failures
  • 1540 nm operational wavelength with single and multimode capability
  • User-friendly, customizable software interface


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