A sample set of twelve optical cable assemblies were prepared and characterized by TE Connectivity. Each assembly was a mated connector pair. The samples were divided into six groups with different levels of polishing scratches applied to vary the Return Loss (RL) at the mating interface. The measured RL across all groups ranged from a minimum of 26 dB to a maximum greater than 80 dB. Experimental links were built based on a 40G NRZ Bit Error rate Tester, EDFA with attenuator, cable assemblies and a fiber (maximum up to 3 km ITU-T G.652.D fiber). Bit Error Rate (BER) curve, Eye diagram, Jitter and Q-factor were measured for all experimental links. We found there was no significant change in any of the measured parameters for the links with different connector assemblies but with the same fiber length of optical link. The 40G NRZ link with multiple cable assemblies (up to 4 samples) and a fiber (1 to 3km) demonstrated significant robustness to the connector scratches.
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Tatiana Berdinskikh, Rutsuda Thongdaeng, Vittawat Phunnarungsi, Mike Gurreri, Joshua Webb, Andrzej Tymecki, Matt Brown, Giorgio Friedrich, "Investigation on impact of connector scratches on 40G NRZ optical link performance," Proc. SPIE 8412, Photonics North 2012, 84120L (24 October 2012);