This is the fifth post in a series on Smart Fiber and OTDR Testing – see links to previous posts below.

OTDR Test Analysis Gets Smarter (and Easier)

It’s a common belief that OTDR testing and analysis are difficult. In the past, OTDRs could be complex to configure and measurement results were often hard to interpret. Meanwhile, the demand for fiber deployment—and fiber testing—is on a steady increase. Without OTDR testing, fiber installations may be delayed or flawed, and troubleshooting can be a frustrating effort that leaves both the tester and the customer unhappy.

A better way to interpret OTDR results was needed to avoid potentially costly mistakes and ensure network activations are right the first time around. To address this challenge, VIAVI has added Smart Link Mapper (SLM) to its leading instruments. SLM takes an OTDR trace and simplifies analysis to a series of icons representing the fiber link under test. You can see the improvement below:



Instant toggle between OTDR Trace and Smart Link Mapper views

SLM is designed to speak your network language. It features individual variants, like FTTH, FTTA, Enterprise, that address specific applications to make test and certification in those environments even easier. The Cable-SLM reflects the relevant workflows and terminology found specifically in high-density fiber cable environments. It also uses relevant icons, labels, and descriptions to depict link elements and not those used in Enterprise/Data Center or Fiber to the Home (FTTH) deployments.

SmartAcq Makes SLM Even Smarter

VIAVI SLM also features another bit of OTDR magic called Smart Acquisition, or “SmartAcq”. SmartAcq improves how the OTDR detects events along the fiber link by running multiple tests and combining them into one single view. By using multiple pulse widths SmartAcq can reliably characterize all the sections of a fiber link near and far plus allow you to get away with a shorter launch fiber. This makes the VIAVI OTDR one of the most accurate and repeatable OTDRs available today (not to mention the most compact and lightweight too).

And the best news? Basic Smart Link Mapper capabilities are now standard in all VIAVI OTDRs.

OTDR TestIf you’re interested you can see how easy OTDR testing can be for specific applications then you can get a free 30-day trial license for FTTH-SLM, FTTA-SLM, Cable-SLM or Enterprise-SLM. Simply contact your local VIAVI rep or email

If you want to learn more—visit our Smart Link Mapper web page or download this poster Understanding OTDR.

For more on tips and best practices for fiber testing, read the other posts in this Smart Fiber Testing series:

#1 – FTTH/PON Smart Link Mapper

#2 – Smart OTDR Testing

#3 – Bi-Directional OTDR Testing 

#4 – Two Ways to Cut Fiber Test Time in Half



Find more resources here: Fiber Testing and OTDR Testing



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