Our switches support 802.3af standard. Yes the standard has auto-sensing built in. So as long as the far end device supports that standard, most do, then we will provide power to that device. If a pc is plugged in, then we don't supply power.
Here is some info on understanding it in our switches: Understanding Power Over Ethernet (PoE) and Power Management in AOS
Here is more info on the standard: Power over Ethernet - Wikipedia
Let me know if you have any further questions.
one more thing i forgot to add, some of our switches also support 802.3at which provides up to 25.5W of power. The 802.3af supports up to 15.4W per port
Please refer to the AOS Feature Matrix to find out which switches support which standards. All the 1500/1600 series PoE models support both 802.3af and 802.3at. It is just our 1200 series that only support 802.3af.
Yes, it's part of the 802.3af and if equipped the higher power 802.3at standard. The port tests to verify that the device is requesting power before enabling it. Unless the device you connect is a PoE device that is actively requesting power, the switch won't provide power. You can't "fry" a non-PoE device by plugging it into an Adtran or other standards-compliant switch.
There are some non-standard means of providing power over an Ethernet connection that do NOT auto-sense and can damage non-PoE gear. These are typically separate power injector modules used with early or inexpensive wireless gear and not switches. Adtran switches don't do this.