Correlation technique using of-the-shelf CW DFB laser for interrogation of fiber optic sensors

M. G. Shlyagin, L. A. Arias, Jorge H. Lopez Rivera


The paper presents a simple fiber-optic sensor technique based on methods of correlation optical time domain reflectometry. A correlation reflectometry technique can measure distribution of reflection coefficient along the optical fiber by calculating the correlation function between a probe optical signal (reference) and the signal returned back due to reflections or/and back-scattering from the fiber under the test. To obtain the best sensor performance, the probe signal power should be a truly random function of time. As an optical source we use a free-running DFB laser diode operating in a continuous wave regime without any external modulation. To generate the probe test signal, laser light is passed through an interferometer with an optical path difference much longer than the coherence length of the laser light. The light intensity at the interferometer output has a truly random fluctuations and its auto correlation function is suitable for correlation optical reflectometry. We present results of experimental verification of the techniques in different sensor configurations. Multipoint sensor using very low reflective fiber Bragg gratings with reflectivity of 0.01% printed in a long SMF-28 optical fiber was demonstrated.


Fiber Bragg Gratings, sensors, multiplexing

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