The C-Kore Subsea OTDR (optical time domain reflectometer) is a compact automated tool for testing subsea fibre optic cables. It can be configured in advance by C-Kore System Ltd or easily set up in the field by the end-user. It is simple to use, automating the previously complex work of operating an OTDR, and thus does not require any specialist personnel offshore. The unique design allows up to 12 fibre inputs to be tested from the same configuration.
The tool allows measurement to be made directly subsea, eliminating the problems of deck-based downline testing, including attenuation, offset errors, faulty downlines and human error. The C-Kore Subsea OTDR is entirely self-contained and does not require any ROV integration.
When fault-finding the OTDR is used to precisely identify where in the cable the fault resides. This knowledge can be used to inform repair versus replacement strategies. It can also be used to evaluate spare fibre optic channels to enable successful field reconfiguration to mitigate faults, without expensive cable repairs or replacement.
For new asset installation the OTDR is used to characterise cables for future reference and find discontinuities that have not yet affected signal transmission integrity. As this testing is automated, vessel time and personnel requirements are reduced to achieve cost savings. The unit can be deployed subsea to take optical TDR readings directly once installation is complete and prove fibre health before hook-up.
The unit is powered by a high-capacity rechargeable battery for stand-alone operation. Simple user configuration is possible with a plug-and-play USB connection to choose what the unit will test and when. Every result is data-logged and the unit has built-in software for result analysis.