Outside Plant - Protecting Equipment in The Outside Plant


Protecting Equipment in The Outside Plant

The environment can play a large role in the quality and lifespan of equipment used in the outside plant. It is critical that environmental testing criteria as well as design and performance requirements be defined for this type of equipment.

There are generally four operating environments or classes covering all outside plant (OSP) applications, including wireless facilities.

  • Class 1: Equipment in a Controlled Environment
  • Class 2: Protected Equipment in Outside Environments
  • Class 3: Protected Equipment in Severe Outside Environments
  • Class 4: Products in an Unprotected Environment

Electronic equipment located in one or more of these environmental class locations are designed to withstand various environmental operating conditions resulting from climatic conditions that may include rain, snow, sleet, high winds, ice, salt spray, and sand storms. Since outside temperatures can possibly range from -40°C (-40°F) to 46°C (115°F), with varying degrees of solar loading, along with humidity levels ranging from below 10% up to 100%, significant environmental stresses within the enclosure or facility can be produced.

Telcordia GR-3108, Generic Requirements for Network Equipment in the Outside Plant (OSP) contains the most recent industry data regarding each Class described above. It also discusses what is currently happening in ATIS and Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

The document also includes

  • environmental criteria such as operating temperatures, humidity, particulate contamination, pollution exposure, and heat dissipation
  • mechanical criteria such as structural requirements, packaging, susceptibility to vibration, earthquake, and handling
  • electrical protection and safety including protection from lightning surges, AC power induction and faults, and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), and DC power influences

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