Proceedings PaperNovel Optical Sensor Using Electro-Optic Modulator
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A novel type of optical hydrophone has been developed which offers a compact and reproducible extrinsic sensor with good noise performance. A conventional piezoelectric transducer is interfaced to an integrated optical modulator having very low drive-voltage. This is an electro-optic device on lithium niobate and thus has potential for reliable and cheap manufacture. Several hydrophones have been constructed and fully packaged. They are approximately 55mm x 13 mm x lOmm in size and are accessed via single-mode fibres. To achieve good noise performance a very low noise laser source has been developed to drive the hydrophone and achieves noise levels close to theoretical limits. Although the work has centred on hydrophones, it is also applicable to other sensing applications requiring a robust sensor with high sensitivity, large dynamic range and low noise.