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Intensity-modulated optical fiber displacement sensors have a potential to be used in a number of applications, including those in industry, military, aerospace, and medicine. Compared with other types of optical fiber sensors, intensity-modulated sensors offer distinctive advantages in that they are usually less complex, inexpensive, and less sensitive to thermal-induced strain. They are able to perform accurate contactless sensing while being of a small size and having a wide dynamic range. A common form of the intensity-modulated optical fiber sensor performs its measurement by making use of a pair of straight parallel optical fibers integrated with a moving reflector modulating the reflected optical signal intensity. Although such an optical modulation configuration exhibits good sensing ability, improvement on its performance could still be made to widen the extent of its application areas. This leads to the development of more effective intensity modulation mechanisms utilizing bent-tip optical fibers and a reflector that can either laterally slide or longitudinally move with reference to the central axis of the fibers. This paper describes such alternative sensing structures and demonstrates the derivations of mathematical models proposed for analyzing their sensing characteristics. Based on experimental studies, the models are verified and validated for the analysis of sensitivity and linearity.
Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:59 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2010