(1) A machine's rated capacity to continuously perform work under normal conditions. It generally applies to mechanical devices such as printers, in which case it would indicate the number of pages that can be printed per month without a problem.
The proportion of time that a system, device, or component on intermittent duty is operating, rather than remaining idle. The duty cycle includes the time starting, running, stopping, and idling and generally is expressed as a percentage or fraction.A compressor, for example, that operates for 1 minute and then shuts off for 99 minutes, is said to have a duty cycle of 1 / 100 , or 1 percent.
In pulse systems, such as digital fiber optic transmission systems (FOTS) or baseband digital electrical transmission systems, the ratio of the sum of all pulse durations to the total period, during a specified period of continuous operation, with the pulse duration, including the rise to peak power and the fall to zero power. See also baseband, digital, FOTS, and pulse.