Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components - Summarising results of round robin on connector end face scratch recognition and verification by automated microscopes

IEC TR 63367:2021 which is a technical report, summarises the results of a round robin on connector end face scratch recognition and verification by automated microscopes. The prime objectives of the study were:
determine the amount of variability (repeatability and reproducibility) when different state-of-the-art inspection systems are assessed against IEC 61300-3-35:2015;
evaluate any system-to-system variation in the quantity of reported scratches;
provide recommendations to improve the repeatability and reproducibility of fibre optic inspection systems.

General Information

Status
Published
Publication Date
21-Nov-2021
Current Stage
PPUB - Publication issued
Completion Date
22-Nov-2021
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IEC TR 63367:2021 - Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components - Summarising results of round robin on connector end face scratch recognition and verification by automated microscopes
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IEC TR 63367
Edition 1.0 2021-11
TECHNICAL
REPORT
colour
inside
Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components – Summarising
results of round robin on connector end face scratch recognition and
verification by automated microscopes
IEC TR 63367:2021-11(en)
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
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---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
IEC TR 63367
Edition 1.0 2021-11
TECHNICAL
REPORT
colour
inside
Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components – Summarising
results of round robin on connector end face scratch recognition and
verification by automated microscopes
INTERNATIONAL
ELECTROTECHNICAL
COMMISSION
ICS 33.180.10 ISBN 978-2-8322-1053-5

Warning! Make sure that you obtained this publication from an authorized distributor.

® Registered trademark of the International Electrotechnical Commission
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
– 2 – IEC TR 63367:2021 © IEC 2021
CONTENTS

FOREWORD ........................................................................................................................... 5

INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................... 7

1 Scope .............................................................................................................................. 8

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................... 8

3 Terms and definitions ...................................................................................................... 8

4 Round robin procedure .................................................................................................... 8

5 Specimen preparation ...................................................................................................... 9

5.1 General ................................................................................................................... 9

5.2 Multimode specimens ............................................................................................. 9

5.3 Single-mode specimens ........................................................................................ 11

6 Results .......................................................................................................................... 13

6.1 Reported data ....................................................................................................... 13

6.2 Multimode specimens ........................................................................................... 13

Observations of specimen MM20-2 ................................................................................... 14

Observations of specimen MM12 ...................................................................................... 15

Observations of MM14-4 .................................................................................................. 16

6.3 Single-mode specimens ........................................................................................ 16

Observations of specimen SM9 ........................................................................................ 17

Observations of specimen SM15-4 ................................................................................... 18

7 Observations and conclusions ....................................................................................... 18

7.1 Multimode observations ........................................................................................ 18

Remarks ........................................................................................................................... 19

7.2 Single-mode observations ..................................................................................... 19

Remarks ........................................................................................................................... 19

7.3 Conclusions .......................................................................................................... 19

8 Items to be studied ........................................................................................................ 20

Annex A (informative) Measurement procedure .................................................................... 21

Annex B (informative) Performance and geometry data of test specimens ........................... 23

Annex C (informative) Reported scratch results for all specimens ........................................ 35

Bibliography .......................................................................................................................... 40

Figure 1 – Multimode single-fibre test specimen grouping ..................................................... 10

Figure 2 – Multimode multi-fibre test specimen grouping ....................................................... 11

Figure 3 – Single-mode single-fibre test specimen grouping ................................................. 12

Figure 4 – Single-mode multi-fibre test specimen grouping ................................................... 13

Figure 5 – Image of specimen end face MM20-2 ................................................................... 14

Figure 6 – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for multimode multi-fibre

specimen MM20-2, zone A .................................................................................................... 14

Figure 7 – Image of specimen end face MM12 ...................................................................... 15

Figure 8 – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for multimode single-

fibre specimen MM12, zone A ............................................................................................... 15

Figure 9 – Image of specimen end face MM14-4 ................................................................... 16

Figure 10 – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for multimode multi-

fibre specimen MM14-4, zone A ............................................................................................ 16

Figure 11 – Image of specimen end face SM9 ....................................................................... 17

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IEC TR 63367:2021 © IEC 2021 – 3 –

Figure 12 – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for single-mode single-

fibre specimen SM9, zone A ................................................................................................. 17

Figure 13 – Image of specimen end face SM15-4 .................................................................. 18

Figure 14 – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for single-mode multi-

fibre specimen SM15-4, zone A ............................................................................................ 18

Figure A.1 – Measurement procedure workflow ..................................................................... 22

Figure B.1 – Initial attenuation of multimode single-fibre specimens ..................................... 24

Figure B.2 – Initial return loss of multimode single-fibre specimens ...................................... 24

Figure B.3 – Multimode multi-fibre test interface identification key ........................................ 25

Figure B.4 – Initial attenuation of multimode multi-fibre specimens ....................................... 27

Figure B.5 – Initial return loss of multimode multi-fibre specimens ........................................ 27

Figure B.6 – Initial attenuation of single-mode single-fibre specimens ................................... 29

Figure B.7 – Initial return loss of single-mode single-fibre specimens ................................... 30

Figure B.8 – Single-mode multi-fibre test interface identification key ..................................... 31

Figure B.9 – Initial attenuation of single-mode multi-fibre specimens .................................... 32

Figure B.10 – Initial return loss of single-mode multi-fibre specimens ................................... 33

Figure C.1 – (All specimens) – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for

multimode single-fibre specimens, zone A ............................................................................ 35

Figure C.2 – (All specimens) – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for

multimode single-fibre specimens, zone B ............................................................................ 36

Figure C.3 – (All specimens) – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for

multimode multi-fibre specimens, zone A .............................................................................. 36

Figure C.4 – (All specimens) – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for

multimode multi-fibre specimens, zone B .............................................................................. 37

Figure C.5 – (All specimens) – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for

single-mode single-fibre specimens, zone A ......................................................................... 37

Figure C.6 – (All specimens) – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for

single-mode single-fibre specimens, zone B ......................................................................... 38

Figure C.7 – (All specimens) – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for

single-mode multi-fibre specimens, zone A ........................................................................... 38

Figure C.8 – (All specimens) – Number of out-of-specification scratches reported for

single-mode multi-fibre specimens, zone B ........................................................................... 39

Table 1 – Multimode test specimen categorisation .................................................................. 9

Table 2 – Single-mode test specimen categorisation ............................................................. 12

Table A.1 – Scratch size limits .............................................................................................. 21

Table B.1 – Initial optical performance of multimode single-fibre specimens ......................... 23

Table B.2 – End-face geometry of multimode single-fibre specimens .................................... 25

Table B.3 – Attenuation of multimode multi-fibre specimens ................................................. 26

Table B.4 – Return loss of multimode multi-fibre specimens ................................................. 26

Table B.5 – End-face geometry parameter of multimode multi-fibre specimens ..................... 28

Table B.6 – Fibre height of multimode multi-fibre specimens ................................................. 28

Table B.7 – Core dip of multimode multi-fibre specimens ...................................................... 28

Table B.8 – Initial optical performance of single-mode single-fibre specimens ...................... 29

Table B.9 – End-face geometry of single-mode single-fibre specimens ................................. 30

Table B.10 – Attenuation of single-mode multi-fibre specimens at 1 310 nm wavelength ....... 31

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– 4 – IEC TR 63367:2021 © IEC 2021

Table B.11 – Attenuation of single-mode multi-fibre specimens at 1 550 nm wavelength ....... 31

Table B.12 – Return Loss of single-mode multi-fibre specimens at 1 310 nm

wavelength ........................................................................................................................... 32

Table B.13 – Return loss of single-mode multi-fibre specimens at 1 550 nm wavelength ....... 32

Table B.14 – End-face geometry parameter of single-mode multi-fibre specimens ................ 33

Table B.15 – Fibre height of single-mode multi-fibre specimens ............................................ 33

Table B.16 – Fibre tip radii of single-mode multi-fibre specimens .......................................... 34

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IEC TR 63367:2021 © IEC 2021 – 5 –
INTERNATIONAL ELECTROTECHNICAL COMMISSION
____________
FIBRE OPTIC INTERCONNECTING DEVICES AND PASSIVE
COMPONENTS – SUMMARISING RESULTS OF ROUND ROBIN
ON CONNECTOR END FACE SCRATCH RECOGNITION AND
VERIFICATION BY AUTOMATED MICROSCOPES
FOREWORD

1) The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is a worldwide organization for standardization comprising

all national electrotechnical committees (IEC National Committees). The object of IEC is to promote international

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8) Attention is drawn to the Normative references cited in this publication. Use of the referenced publications is

indispensable for the correct application of this publication.

9) Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this IEC Publication may be the subject of patent

rights. IEC shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

IEC TR 63367 has been prepared by subcommittee 86B: Fibre optic interconnecting devices

and passive components, of IEC technical committee 86: Fibre optics. It is a Technical Report.

The text of this Technical Report is based on the following documents:
Draft Report on voting
86B/4492/DTR 86B/4521/RVDTR

Full information on the voting for its approval can be found in the report on voting indicated in

the above table.
The language used for the development of this Technical Report is English.
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– 6 – IEC TR 63367:2021 © IEC 2021

This document was drafted in accordance with ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, and developed in

accordance with ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1 and ISO/IEC Directives, IEC Supplement, available

at www.iec.ch/members_experts/refdocs. The main document types developed by IEC are

described in greater detail at www.iec.ch/standardsdev/publications.

The committee has decided that the contents of this document will remain unchanged until the

stability date indicated on the IEC website under webstore.iec.ch in the data related to the

specific document. At this date, the document will be
• reconfirmed,
• withdrawn,
• replaced by a revised edition, or
• amended.

IMPORTANT – The "colour inside" logo on the cover page of this document indicates that it

contains colours which are considered to be useful for the correct understanding of its

contents. Users should therefore print this document using a colour printer.
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IEC TR 63367:2021 © IEC 2021 – 7 –
INTRODUCTION

It is known that contamination and scratches on connector end face can result in degradation

of optical performance as described in IEC TR 62627-05. It is important to inspect and clean,

when necessary, each connector before mating with another connector to ensure they are fit

for function. The visual inspection methods and criteria for fibre optic connectors and fibre-stub

transceivers are defined in IEC 61300-3-35. Three different methods can be used for visual

inspection: direct view optical microscopy (method A), video microscopy (method B) and

automated analysis microscopy (method C). All methods are susceptible to system variability:

methods A and B are operator dependent; method C is operator independent but relies on

software analysis for measurement results. The uncertainty inherent to imaging equipment,

processing methods, and detection software can lead to measurement variability among

different brands and even the same types of microscopy. For all methods, the fibre microscopes

can be certified for use in either low- and high-resolution applications with a purpose-built

certification artefact.

There is industry concern about the veracity of the results of the visual inspection of the same

part using different automated inspection equipment and software for method C. The IEC

SC 86B task force group on scratch recognition was organized to investigate automated

inspection system variability and provide recommendations to improve repeatability and

reproducibility of the inspection. The task force group specifically limited its investigation to

inspection using method C.

The task force group consisted of the following members (in alphabetical order): Arden,

CommScope, Corning, Data Pixel, Exfo, Fibre QA, Fluke Corporation, Sumix, University College

of London, and decided to perform this investigation by means of a round robin. The round robin

involved inspection systems from multiple vendors in a blind study to determine the baseline

performance of the systems with regard to automated scratch detection relative to IEC criteria

of pre-selected samples.

This report summarizes the results (data collection and analysis) of end face scratch recognition

and verification round robin performed by the following task force contributors (5 fibre inspection

system manufactures). The following sequence in which the contributors are listed does not

represent the order in which the data is presented in the results section. One contributor

provided results from four unique inspection systems, each having their own participant ID

(eight ID’s in total):
• Data-Pixel;
• Exfo;
• FiberQA;
• Fluke Corporation;
• Sumix.
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– 8 – IEC TR 63367:2021 © IEC 2021
FIBRE OPTIC INTERCONNECTING DEVICES AND PASSIVE
COMPONENTS – SUMMARISING RESULTS OF ROUND ROBIN
ON CONNECTOR END FACE SCRATCH RECOGNITION AND
VERIFICATION BY AUTOMATED MICROSCOPES
1 Scope

This document summarises the results of a round robin on connector end face scratch

recognition and verification by automated microscopes. The prime objectives of the study were:

• determine the amount of variability (repeatability and reproducibility) when different state-

of-the-art inspection systems are assessed against IEC 61300-3-35:2015;
• evaluate any system-to-system variation in the quantity of reported scratches;

• provide recommendations to improve the repeatability and reproducibility of fibre optic

inspection systems.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
No terms and definitions are listed in this document.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following

addresses:
• ISO Online browsing platform: available at https://www.iso.org/obp
• IEC Electropedia: available at http://www.electropedia.org/
4 Round robin procedure
The round robin workflow consisted of the following steps.

a) Specimen preparation (see Clause 5): Multimode and single-mode single-fibre and multi-

fibre test specimens were produced. An image of each end face was captured by high

resolution microscope, attenuation and return loss were measured for each fibre, and end-

face geometry was determined to verify that the specimens met the IEC interface
requirements.

b) Circulation initiation: Measurement procedure and results template (see Annex A) were

developed and approved by the group. The order of participants for specimen circulation

was agreed.
c) Measurements: Specimens were circulated among round robin participants. Every

participant performed measurements and collected image data according to the agreed

procedure.

d) Analysis of results: The results were gathered from all participants. Data analysis was

performed, and the synthesis report was composed.
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IEC TR 63367:2021 © IEC 2021 – 9 –
5 Specimen preparation
5.1 General

The round-robin test specimens were fabricated to consider various interface configurations

and conditions. Specimens were arranged into both cylindrical ferrule single fibre (1,25 mm

zirconia material) and rectangular ferrule multi-fibre types (12-fibre MT with polyphenylene

sulphide [PPS] material). Both multimode (50 µm core diameter) and single-mode specimens

were produced.
5.2 Multimode specimens

The multimode specimens were further organised into categories that had pristine fibre end-

face surface quality, and ones with low-level, light scratches (produced with a 1 µm diamond

film) which still meet functional performance criteria. Furthermore, specimens were created with

1 to 3 heavy scratches (produced with a 5 µm diamond suspension), as well as a control without

detectable heavy scratches. A summary describing all of the multimode variants is provided in

Table 1. A total of twelve multimode single-fibre specimens and twelve multi-fibre specimens

(with three specimens per group) were produced. Images for each of the specimens are given

in Figure 1 for the single-fibre and Figure 2 for the multi-fibre groups. All images were taken

with an end face inspection system utilizing blue-light illumination, an objective having an NA

of 0,40 and a magnification of 400 x (see Figure 1 to Figure 4).
Table 1 – Multimode test specimen categorisation
Group Ferrule type Ferrule material Light scratches Heavy scratches
identification
A MM 1,25 mm Zirconia No No
B MM 1,25 mm Zirconia No Yes
C MM 1,25 mm Zirconia Yes No
D MM 1,25 mm Zirconia Yes Yes
E MM MT (PPS) PPS No No
F MM MT (PPS) PPS No Yes
G MM MT (PPS) PPS Yes No
H MM MT (PPS) PPS Yes Yes
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– 10 – IEC TR 63367:2021 © IEC 2021
Figure 1 – Multimode single-fibre test specimen grouping

Following visual inspection, the optical performance of each specimen was qualified at 850 nm

wavelength and the end-face geometry was determined. The attenuation and return loss were

measured per IEC 61300-3-4, insertion method (B), and IEC 61300-3-6, method 1: OCWR,

respectively. The results for the single-fibre specimens is reported in Annex B (Table B.1 and

Figure B.1 to Figure B.2). End face geometry of the single-fibre specimens was estimated using

IEC 61300-3-47 and summarized in Annex B (Table B.2).

The multi-fibre specimens had specific fibres of each ferrule identified for the study. However,

attenuation, return loss, and geometry measurements were made across all fibres of the

interconnection. A key to identify the fibre specimen inspected during the round robin is

provided in Annex B (Figure B.3). Attenuation and return loss values are given in Annex B

(Table B.3 to Table B.4 and Figure B.4 to Figure B.5), with the round robin fibre inspection

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IEC TR 63367:2021 © IEC 2021 – 11 –

interfaces highlighted. The end-face geometry of the multi-fibre interfaces was determined

using IEC 61300-3-30. The relevant geometric parameters, fibre heights, and core dip results

are summarised in Annex B (Table B.5 to Table B.7).
Figure 2 – Multimode multi-fibre test specimen grouping
5.3 Single-mode specimens

The single-mode end faces were binned into categories, which either had 1 to 3 scratches that

pass through the fibre core or pass through zone A (without intersecting the core). These

scratches were approximately 1 µm width. In addition, a single-mode specimen group without

any observable scratches was produced. A summary describing all of the single-mode variants

is provided in Table 2. A total of nine single-mode, single-fibre specimens were produced and

nine multi-fibre interfaces (with three specimens per group). Images for each of the specimens

are given in Figure 3 for single-fibre and Figure 4 for the multi-fibre groups.
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– 12 – IEC TR 63367:2021 © IEC 2021
Table 2 – Single-mode test specimen categorisation
Group Ferrule type Ferrule material Core scratches Zone A scratches
identification
A SM 1,25 mm Zirconia No No
B SM 1,25 mm Zirconia No Yes
C SM 1,25 mm Zirconia Yes Yes
D SM MT PPS No No
E SM MT PPS No Yes
F SM MT PPS Yes Yes
Figure 3 – Single-mode single-fibre test specimen grouping

Following visual inspection, the optical performance of each specimen was qualified at

1 310 nm and 1 550 nm wavelengths, and the end-face geometry was determined. The

attenuation and return loss was measured per IEC 61300-3-4, insertion method (B), and

IEC 61300-3-6, method 1: OCWR, respectively. The results for the single-fibre specimens are

reported in Annex B (Table B.8 and Figure B.6 to Figure B.7). End face geometry of the single-

fibre specimens was estimated using IEC 61300-3-47 and summarized in Annex B (Table B.9).

The multi-fibre specimens had specific fibres of each ferrule identified for the study. However,

attenuation, return loss, and geometry measurements were made across all fibres of the

interconnection. A key to identify the fibre interf
...

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