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Proceedings Paper

Swept-wavelength interferometric interrogation of fiber Rayleigh scatter for distributed sensing applications
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Paper Abstract

We review recent advancements in making high resolution distributed strain and temperature measurements using swept-wavelength interferometry to observe the spectral characteristics of Rayleigh scatter in optical fibers. Current methods available for distributed strain or temperature sensing in optical fiber include techniques based on Raman, Brillouin, and Rayleigh scattering. These techniques typically employ optical time domain reflectometry and are thus limited in spatial resolution to 0.1 to 1 m. Fiber Bragg gratings can yield higher spatial resolution but are difficult to multiplex in large numbers for applications requiring wide scale coverage. Swept-wavelength interferometry allows the Rayleigh scatter amplitude and phase to be sampled with very high spatial resolution (10s of microns). The Rayleigh scatter complex amplitude can be Fourier Transformed to obtain the Rayleigh scatter optical spectrum and shifts in the spectral pattern can related to changes in strain or temperature. This technique results in distributed strain measurements with 1 με resolution or temperature measurements with 0.1 C resolution. These measurements can be made with sub-cm spatial resolution over a 100 m measurement range or with sub-10 cm resolution over a 1 Km range. A principle advantage of this technique is that it does not require specialty fiber. Thus, measurements can be made in pre-installed single mode or multimode fibers, including those used for telecommunication networks. Applications range from fault monitoring in short range communications networks, structural health monitoring, shape sensing, pipeline and electrical transmission line monitoring, to perimeter security. Several examples are discussed in detail.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 October 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6770, Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications V, 67700F (12 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.734931
Show Author Affiliations
Dawn K. Gifford, Luna Technologies (United States)
Steven T. Kreger, Luna Technologies (United States)
Alex K. Sang, Luna Technologies (United States)
Mark E. Froggatt, Luna Technologies (United States)
Roger G. Duncan, Luna Technologies (United States)
Matthew S. Wolfe, Luna Technologies (United States)
Brian J. Soller, Luna Technologies (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6770:
Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications V
Eric Udd, Editor(s)

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