The Norland AC-3000 is a fully automated, non-contact interferometric microscope designed for  

  measuring the endface geometry of fiber optic surfaces such as connector assemblies, ferrules, and

  optical fibers. Using a versatile inverted microscope with a built-in camera and a high-speed

  computer, the AC-3000 provides immediate 3D topographical information on the surface being


  Specifically designed to measure the key parameters of PC polished connectors, the AC-3000 measures  

  the radius of curvature, offset of polish, undercut, or protrusion on FC, ST ® , SC, LC, and MU type

  connectors. In addition, this system can measure APC, flat polished connectors, bare ferrules,  cleaved

  or polished fibers, and sections of multifiber connectors.  The feedback from the AC-3000 provides the

  user with optimum control of the production process by quickly showing any variation in the polish


  The AC-3000 is a novel system that quickly switches between standard monochromatic phase shift

  interferometry (PSI) or white light (broadband scanning) interferometry to handle a wide range of

  surfaces. The monochromatic mode allows the system to quickly map smooth surfaces, while the

  white light mode uses the latest state-of-the-art technology to measure difficult, rough surfaces and

  eliminate ambiguities in step heights. This method provides the “True View” that the monochromatic

  mode cannot always measure. Together, the two modes provide extra versatility for analyzing all

  types of connectors,   for trouble shooting or process development and for measuring fiber protrusion

  (undercut or push back) up to four microns above or below the ferrule.   Designed for users needing

  extreme accuracy, the AC-3000 is capable of measuring fiber height to ±0.002 microns and radius of

  curvature and offset of polish to ±0.10 mm and ±1.0 microns respectively. Each unit is supplied with

  NIST traceable spherical calibration standards to allow the user to certify the accuracy of the

  measurements. No other system provides the customer with this ultimate assurance of performance.

  In less than three seconds, the advanced technology of the AC-3000 can obtain the surface topology of a

  smooth connector. Coupled with a pass/fail function, the AC-3000 quickly converts from a valuable

  research tool to an indispensable part of a modern quality control system, giving the end user full

  control of fiber optic connector quality and performance.  The AC-3000 with the Windows 7 operating

  system is by far the easiest, most user friendly system on the market today. Simply insert a connector

  into the unit, adjust the focus and analyze; the AC-3000 does the rest and results are clearly displayed 

  on the monitor. Use either the key­board or the mouse to activate pull down menus, shortcut icons and

  online and context-sensitive help. Fast print spooling and multiprocessing capabilities allow a hard copy

  print of the information through a standard ink jet or laser printer.   Data can be automatically saved,

  displayed or printed in Excel for statistical analysis. In addition, custom reports can be generated for  

  each connector with  user selec­table images and measurement results (bar code labels and reports can

  be printed on one page). The pressure sensitive label can be affixed to the outside of a patch cord bag.


  All these data functions are accessed directly in the AC-3000 program.      The unit is designed on an

  extra stable,  inverted microscope base for precision and ease of use. Switching from 2.5 mm connectors

  to 1.25 mm connectors is accomplished in seconds with only two thumb screws. Nothing is faster or

  simpler. With our new, user-friendly autolevel software, it only takes a minute to calibrate the mount

  for sub-micron accuracy in offset measurements. The soft­ware also prompts the user to replace the

  mount if wear becomes excessive. Our exclusive “Variable Tilt Stage” allows the instrument to be

  quickly adjusted for APC mea­surements. The stage has continuous variable angles from 0 to 13

  degrees. A NIST traceable angle standard is available that guarantees accuracy to 0.01 degrees.

   ST ® is a registered trademark of Lucent Technologies/AT&T.

Norland sets the standards for Fiber Optic Interferometry...

•  NIST traceable calibration standards for radius of curvature and fiber height on 2.5 mm

   connectors and 1.25 mm connectors.


•  NIST traceable standard for 0°-8° Angle Tilt Stage

  Norland leads the way in Hardware....

•  Rugged inverted microscope design for easy leveling and integration into a variety of

   production processes.


•  World class, infinity corrected optics assure superior resolution and the ability to see

    scratches and surface imperfections even in the interferometric mode.


•  Mireau type interferometer objective is factory calibrated and requires no field adjustment.


•  A variable tilt mount with micrometer control between 0°–13° with accuracy of ±0.01°

        •  Patented “Locking V-Groove” mount adjusts for small variations in ferrule diameter.

•  Accommodates PC/APC FC, SC & ST and E2000 connectors.


•  Custom mounts for LC, MU, MT/MTRJ, D4 and other specialized connectors.


•  Simple, three point leveling with thumbscrews requires no tools and assures perpendicularity

   of the stage to the optics.


•  Red light, monochromatic, interferometry is fast (less than 3 seconds) for smooth surfaces,   

    which have step heights of less than one half wave length.


•  White light, broad band, interferometry gives the “True View” of rough surfaces with

    stepheights of ±4 microns.


•  Autolevel software corrects for sub-micron variations in stage level to give accurate and

    repeatable offset measurements.


•  Mount wear checked automatically during autoleveling. Prompts to replace mount when



•  Change from red light to white light scan instantaneously with a mouse click.

         •  Windows 7 software provides full, 32 bit multiprocessing with an easy to use, intuitive feel.

•  Windows 7 offers security with network compatible, multilevel password protection.


•  View, print and automatically save data in Excel without leaving the AC 3000 program.

         •  Easy to follow user menu offers selection of pass/fail standards conforming to IEC or Telcordia

            values by merely checking a box in the setup screen.

•  Choose measurement data to be displayed in Excel and customize pass/fail standards that

    follow Telcordia formulas.

        •  Print custom reports with your company logo including pass/fail parameters, user selected results,

            selected graphics and bar code labels.

•  An optional bar code scanner is available for reading connector identification data.


•  Software offers the ability to measure the cleave and key angle of a bare fiber and sections of

   multifiber connectors.



Parameter            Range              Reproducibility         Repeatability

Radius of Curvature

3mm– ~



Apex Offset

0–500 microns


Fiber Height

±3.0 microns




 Reproducibility based on 100 measurements re-inserting connector between measurements. 

 Repeatability based on 100 measurements without disturbing the connector between measurements.

 Reproducibility and repeatability reported are the full differential range of all measurements (max -min)  

 with an AC-3000 on a vibration damping table, after autoleveling, using a connector with a 15 mm

 adius of curvature.


 Interferometer — Mireau

 White Light — Tungsten Halogen CCTV with 8.8mm x 6.6mm Sensing Area

 256 x 240 Pixels 11 Angstroms 175X

 1.2 microns

 500 microns wide

 1.7 GHz

 15 GB EIDE Drive Matrox Productiva Phoenix 4.0

 Microsoft Windows 7 or XP

 Matrox Meteor II

 128MB SD RAM Installed

*Computer hardware subject to change.

Click HERE to go to Frequently Asked Question about the AC3000 .


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