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Proceedings Paper

Interrogation of a wavelength tunable fiber Bragg grating sensor based ring laser for dynamic strain monitoring
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Paper Abstract

Fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) are wavelength selective optical reflectors with excellent strain sensitivity and small sensing footprint, which makes them suitable as diagnostic sensors for structural health monitoring applications. In this work, we explore the narrowband wavelength selectivity of FBGs for optical feedback in a tunable fiber ring laser. The fiber ring laser consists of an erbium doped fiber laser that is pumped with a Raman laser (980 nm) to produce population inversion and amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) in the C-band. The ASE light is used to illuminate a FBG sensor connected to the ring, and the reflected light from the sensor is fed back into the laser cavity to produce stimulated emission at the instantaneous center wavelength of the sensor. As the wavelength of the sensor shifts due mechanical or thermal strains, the wavelength of the optical output from the ring laser shifts accordingly. By combining the ring laser with a dynamic spectral demodulator for optical readout, the instantaneous wavelength of the ring laser is tracked with high temporal resolution. The fiber ring laser system offers several potential advantages in the diagnostic sensing of mechanical strains for SHM applications including, fully integrated laser and sensor system, high source power levels at the sensor wavelength, narrow spectral line-width, coherent spectral demodulation, and low system costs. In this work, we present experimental results that detail the feasibility of dynamic spectral tuning of the fiber ring laser at frequencies up to hundreds of kilohertz using a single FBG sensing element. Using multiple sensing elements, the fiber ring laser system would allow for active monitoring of dynamic strains in a multi-point sensor array configuration, which is particularly suitable for the localization of high frequency mechanical strains produced by impact loading and cracking events in structures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 April 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7648, Smart Sensor Phenomena, Technology, Networks, and Systems 2010, 764802 (7 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.848979
Show Author Affiliations
Oluwaseyi Balogun, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Yinian Zhu, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Sridhar Krishnaswamy, Northwestern Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7648:
Smart Sensor Phenomena, Technology, Networks, and Systems 2010
Kara J. Peters; Wolfgang Ecke; Theodore E. Matikas, Editor(s)

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