With the rapidly evolving needs of the telecommunication industry, the optical fibre technology has continuously gained in importance, not only for applications in high capacity backbones, but also as local data link bringing the internet up to everyone’s home (FTTH), or for applications in the avionics, the automotive and the sensor industry.

The photonics laboratory is in charge of the realisation of the physical units optical power and wavelength and of all derived quantitites related to the fibre optics, and is also calibrating and testing measuring instruments and fibre optics components.

With our calibration and measurement services we help industry and research in their quest for reliable and accurate measurement. In order to keep up with the pace of development, we are constantly refining our measurement facilities. With this aim in mind, we conduct various research and development projects.


Our services cover the calibration and the measurement of fibre optics measuring instruments, of optical fibres and component for quantities like:

• optical power and attenuation (spectral, IL, RL)
• wavelength
• chromatic dispersion and PMD
• optical length and effective index of refraction
• mode field diameter, encircled flux (EF)
• backscattering coefficient
• polarisation and derived quantities (PDR, PDL)

With our calibration services, we ensure that your measuring instruments are traceable to the national measurement standards.
Our calibration certificates are recognised internationally. For this purpose, we operate a quality assurance system in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025.

We are developing, calibrating and distributing Reference fibres and artefacts allowing disseminating quantities like spectral attenuation, chromatic dispersion and PMD, backscattering coefficient, mode field diameter, optical length and reflectance, and also systems for the calibration of optical time domain reflectometers (OTDR).

Consulting, testing, training
Should you have specific metrology needs to address or testing of photonics components to carry out according to dedicated standards, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are also offering dedicated calibration courses upon request.

Research & Development

With the aid of research and development projects, we keep our measurement facilities and expertise at the forefront of technology. We thus ensure our ability to offer the required services and promote innovation in the years to come. In the course of this we work with other metrology institutes, universities and industry. We are involved in a number of European projects as part of the EMPIR research program.

As a research partner of Innosuisse (Swiss Innovation Agency) we cooperate in Innosuisse projects. We are interested in collaboration with industry.

Further information


Last modification 11.06.2024

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Federal Institute of Metrology
Laboratory Photonics, Time and Frequency
Lindenweg 50
CH-3003 Bern-Wabern
T +41 58 387 01 11

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