Network or signal simulation is a widely used method for testing, training, demonstration, and diagnostics of equipment, networks, and physical infrastructure applications. Simply put, simulation is the artificial re-creation of an active network connection.
Signal or network simulation can be achieved in numerous ways, each possessing different advantages for one application or another. The simplest of all simulation setups uses an optical loopback or electrical loopback, like the Armadillo loopback, to perform a loop test (looping the signal from the send to receive channel within the same port), providing a simulated active network connection. For applications requiring a certain attenuation value (reduction of light or signal), attenuated loopbacks can be used to artificially re-create attenuation associated with distance, network damage, or other types of interference.
For larger simulation applications, network simulation modules are generally used to simulate a connection. Network simulation modules perform the same function as the electrical and optical loopbacks, with added flexibility and accuracy. Typically used in carrier network, premise network, and long-haul type systems, network simulation modules route an incoming signal through spooled fiber (typically 100m to 100km) and output the signal on the opposite end. This type of simulation provides advantages for these applications as the attenuation observed from input to output is natural attenuation, or what is expected over the same distance of a deployed network. Additionally, network simulation modules can be daisy-chained to simulate additional distance, adding flexibility to your test set.
Timbercon designs, develops, and manufactures a full line of electrical loopbacks, optical loopbacks (including the Armadillo loopback), and network simulation modules to suit your precise application or requirement.