In the research, measurements of polarisation mode dispersion of two OPGWs (optical ground wire transmission lines), in total four fibres, have been carried out, and the expected lifetime of the infrastructure has been assessed on the basis of these measurements. The cables under consideration were installed in 1995 and 2011, respectively. Measurements have shown that polarisation mode dispersion values for cable installed in 1995 are four times higher than that for cable installed in 2011, which could mainly be explained by technological differences in fibre production and lower fibre polarisation mode dispersion requirements in 1995 due to lack of high-speed (over 10 Gbit/s) optical transmission systems. The calculation methodology of non-refusal work and refusal probabilities, using the measured polarisation mode dispersion parameters, is proposed in the paper. Based on reliability calculations, the expected lifetime is then predicted, showing that all measured fibres most likely will be operational within minimum theoretical service life of 25 years accepted by the industry.
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