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In this paper we present a Brillouin optical time domain analysis (BOTDA) sensor that takes advantage of the enhanced characteristics obtained employing self-heterodyne optical detection combined with synchronous demodulation. By employing this technique we increase the sensitivity of the sensor and demonstrate experimentally a 10.75-dB enhancement in the SNR compared to conventional direct-detection systems. This detection scheme also enables distributed measurements of the Brillouin phase-shift in an optical fiber, which can lead to enhanced BOTDA schemes.
Date of Publication: April15, 2012