RF Cable, Antenna, and Fiber Testing Automated
SkyBridge Tools™ is a cloud based Test Management Tool dedicated to making life simpler for engineers, contractor companies, and technicians involved in the installation and commissioning RF cables, antennas, fiber backhaul, fronthaul, or data centers. This easy-to-use and affordable essential service helps everyone involved in RF passive component or Fiber installation communicate tasks, validate measurements, and deliver accurate, timely results.
RF Test is Changing
The need for documentation of antenna systems is increasing. A typical tower based antenna system might require 50 to 150 measurements, traces, and photos to show that the installation meets quality standards. A Distributed Antenna System (DAS), also known as an In-building or Outside Antenna System, may require 1,000 to 15,000 traces, photos, and other deliverables to show that the installation meets performance standards. Each of these deliverables needs to be inspected, renamed, and perhaps have the markers and limit lines set and judged. The manual inspection system that worked well enough for tower work does not scale well for the much larger DAS systems.
Fiber Test Documentation is Complex
Managing fiber tests results is a lengthy, expensive, process. For example, a backhaul cable with 144 strands might need OTDR tests at three wavelengths and in both directions, which works out to 864 OTDR traces. In addition, the cable may need 2 VIP inspection tests per strand for another 288 results. That’s 1,152 results for a 144 fiber cable to ensure that the installation meets quality standards. And there are a lot of cables in a backhaul.
In either case, DAS or Fiber test, the instrument setup and file saving/naming alone is a significant work load. That’s not even counting the trace and VIP judgement effort, or any required installation photos. In addition, each of these deliverables needs to be inspected, perhaps renamed, and even have the event thresholds adjusted. The manual inspection system that worked well enough for lower strand counts does not scale well for the much larger strand counts, or data center work, being done today.
Anritsu’s SkyBridge Tools brings simplified testing processes to the RF cable, Antenna, and Fiber installation workflow. SkyBridge Tools enables reliable and quick creation of test plans, enables fast and accurate testing, and assists in report creation. This leads to less time testing, accurate tests, and reliable payment for work done.
Create Test Plan
Test Plans are the start of the test simplification process. SkyBridge uses wizards and customer supplied test criteria to create detailed Test Plans. These Test Plans enable test sequencing, job progress tracking, trace judgement, and report generation. Thousands of tests can be created in a few minutes with the assistance of the Test Plan Import Wizard.
Once a test plan is created, one button press will create a set of instrument control scripts for that test plan. Necessary tests as well as accurate instrument setups, event thresholds, and required file names for the resulting traces are included in the scripts. These scripts can then be ran on the instrument, greatly reducing technician workload. Test time reduction of 50% to 90% has been observed, with increased accuracy. In many cases, failures will be visible while the cable, antenna, or fiber is still connected to the instrument. Missing or duplicated tests, mis-configured setups, and mis-named traces are now a thing of the past.
Dashboards that report Pass/Fail and Present/Absent judgements gives everyone involved visibility of job status. Technicians can see results as soon as traces are uploaded, and replace failed traces if necessary. Engineers and managers can track job progress accurately and with minimal effort.
There are several choices for the final report. Traditional PDF or zipped reports are available, of course. However, reporting is also available in a CSV format, with one row per test. Each row contains the test name, the criteria, a significant number for the measurement, a pass/fail indication (even for cable loss), and a link to the PDF of the trace. These reports automate what has been a tedious process in past.
Close out, get paid, and get to the next job fast with Anritsu’s SkyBridge Tools™