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A radiometric analysis of the light coupled by optical fiber amplitude modulating extrinsic-type reflectance displacement sensors is presented. Uncut fiber sensors show the largest range but a smaller responsivity. Single cut fiber sensors exhibit an improvement in responsivity at the expense of range. A further increase in responsivity as well as a reduction in the operational range is obtained when the double cut sensor configuration is implemented. The double cut configuration is particularly suitable in applications where feedback action is applied to the moving reflector surface. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.