A voltage pulse (or signal) placed on a wire/cable will progressively degrade along a wire/cable length due conductor resistance, dielectric material, temperature, signal frequency, and other factors. In short, attenuation is the loss of signal strength. Those wires/cables with lower attenuation are often preferred as less energy is needed for signal transmission.
The purpose of the attenuation test is to measure the amount of energy lost by transmitting a signal through a cable. The energy lost measurement quantifies the cable’s resistance to electrical signal transmission. The pass/fail criteria vary depending on the particular specification and it will identify the acceptable signal strength loss.
The following parameters can be changed for this test, but are not limited to:
- Signal strength
- Frequency range
- Environmental conditions