Power Sensor Modules - Optical Heads - Return Loss Modules


Optical power measurement modules

The Keysight Technologies optical power measurement modules provide high performance functionality to the Keysight Lightwave Measurement platform. These modules can be used with the mainframes 8163B, 8164B or 8166B as well as the earlier 816xA models.

Power sensor modules

Power sensor modules provide a front panel optical input that accepts various 81000xI connector interfaces for popular fiber connector types or bare fibers. Besides giving optical power in units of W or dBm or dB referred to a reference, calibrated for any wavelength in the available range, these advanced instruments provide high speed data logging of up to 20 k (100 k for the 81636B) values, triggered internally or externally. The min-max function keeps the maximum and minimum values continuously or over a chosen number of samples for simple determination of power variations. Averaging times can be set from 10 s down to 100 μs (25 μs for the 81636B).

Optical heads

Optical heads provide a 5 mm diameter detector area and allow flexible placement of the power meter which is then connected to the 81618A or 81619A interface module in the mainframe. The functionality is the same as for the sensor modules and a choice of adapters allows input from popular connector types, bare fibers or open beams. The simple geometry and high quality detectors allows the heads to offer the highest accuracy measurements. Special calibrations, especially to the 81624B provide metrology lab reference quality. The magnetic D-shaped adapters 81624DD (included) allow rapid removal and replacement on the head without twisting attached fibers. It is used for the dust cap or other threaded-mount adapters and can be removed by loosening the set screws to replace with other D-shaped adapters.

Return loss modules

Return loss modules use two power sensors and fiber couplers to provide a direct measurement of the optical return loss. One sensor measures the optical power reflected back to the instrument while the other monitors the optical power output from the instrument. The ratio provides the return loss. These modules can use an external light source and can also be provided with internal Fabry-Perot lasers for very stable measurements. Full calibration functions are available and especially supported by a built-in application of the 8163B. Using remote programming, these can also be configured to log up to 20 k values from each sensor, synchronized with a tunable laser attached to the external input for making wavelength dependent measurements.

As with the complete Lightwave Measurement platform, remote programming is available with SCPI commands and especially convenient using the 816x VXIPlug&Play driver. This driver especially simplifies power logging and coordinated measurements with tunable lasers, especially with multiple power meters. The instruments are also supported for programming with Keysight Command Expert.


Generally, specifications are valid after warm-up, after zeroing, in auto-range mode (if not differently stated) and at the stated operating conditions and measurement settings.

Specifications describe a guaranteed product performance that is valid under the specified conditions. Specifications are based on a coverage factor of 2 (unless otherwise stated), corresponding to a level of confidence of > 95%.

Typical values describe product performance that is usually met but not guaranteed.



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