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Time domain reflectometry (TDR)...
...is a technique for measuring the runtime and analyzing the reflection characteristics of electromagnetic signals in a medium. In very simplified terms, TDR generates a steep jump signal (pulse/pulse train) and directs it into a medium - for example a cable or an assembly. The signal edge is reflected at certain points, such as interference points in the medium. The transmitted signal is now compared with the reflections. From this, information about transit time, amplitude and other characteristics of the medium can be obtained and evaluated. The technique is of interest, for example, for cables in RF technology. In the case of cables used for high-frequency signals (e.g. high-speed interfaces, heavily used control cables in robotics, etc.), the usual properties of a cable such as continuity and resistance, etc. are not sufficient to characterize the transmission quality. Inconsistencies can already be caused by too tight bending radii, torsion or too high tensile forces, but also by the transition from cable to connectors, if this is not of high enough quality. Here, the TDR can provide valuable information.