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Insertion Loss

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Definition: power losses due to insertion of a device

German: Einfügedämpfung

Categories: fiber optics and waveguides, general optics

Units: %, dB

How to cite the article; suggest additional literature

If an optical device is inserted into a setup, some of the optical power may be lost in the device or at optical interfaces. Some examples:

The insertion loss (or attenuation) is usually specified in decibels, calculated as 10 times the logarithm of base 10 of the ratio of output and input powers. For fiber connectors, for example, it is often of the order of 0.5 dB. High-quality fusion splices may reach values like 0.02 dB.

For high-power devices, a high insertion loss is often unwanted not only due to the power loss but also because of possibly strong heating effects resulting from absorbed light.

See also: fiber connectors, fusion splicing of fibers, decibel, return loss
and other articles in the categories fiber optics and waveguides, general optics

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