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Proceedings Paper

Enhancement of Rayleigh scatter in optical fiber by simple UV treatment: an order of magnitude increase in distributed sensing sensitivity
Author(s): Sébastien Loranger; François Parent; Victor Lambin-Iezzi; Raman Kashyap
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Paper Abstract

Rayleigh scatter in optical fiber communication systems has long been considered a nuisance as a loss mechanism, although applications have used such scatter to probe the fiber for faults and propagation loss using time domain reflectometry (OTDR). It is however only with the development of Frequency domain reflectometry (OFDR) and coherent-phase OTDR that Rayleigh scatter has been probed to its deepest and can now be used to measure strain and temperature along a fiber, leading to the first distributed sensing applications. However, Rayleigh scatter remains very weak giving rise to very small signals which limits the technique for sensing. We show here a new technique to significantly enhance the Rayleigh scatter signal by at least two orders of magnitude, in a standard optical fiber with simple UV exposure of the core. A study of various exposures with different types of fibers has been conducted and a phenomenological description developed. We demonstrate that such an increase in signal can enhance the temperature and strain sensitivity by an order of magnitude for distributed sensing with an OFDR technique. Such improved performance can lead to temperature/strain RMS noise levels of 6 mK and 50 nε for 1 cm spatial resolution in UV exposed SMF-28, compared to the typical noise level of 100 mK for the same spatial resolution in the similar unexposed fiber.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 February 2016
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9744, Optical Components and Materials XIII, 97440E (24 February 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2208896
Show Author Affiliations
Sébastien Loranger, Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal (Canada)
François Parent, Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal (Canada)
Victor Lambin-Iezzi, Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal (Canada)
Raman Kashyap, Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9744:
Optical Components and Materials XIII
Shibin Jiang; Michel J. F. Digonnet, Editor(s)

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