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Enhancement of an Optical Fiber Sensor: Source Separation Based on Brillouin Spectrum

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7 Author(s)
Buchoud, E. ; Dept. Image & Signal Process., Grenoble Institue of Technol., St. Martin d'Hères, France ; Vrabie, V.D. ; Mars, J.I. ; D'Urso, G.
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Distributed optical fiber sensors have gained an increasingly prominent role in structural-health monitoring. These are composed of an optical fiber cable in which a light impulse is launched by an opto-electronic device. The scattered light is of interest in the spectral domain: the spontaneous Brillouin spectrum is centered on the Brillouin frequency, which is related to the local strain and temperature changes in the optical fiber. When coupled with an industrial Brillouin optical time-domain analyzer (B-OTDA), an optical fiber cable can provide distributed measurements of strain and/or temperature, with a spatial resolution over kilometers of 40 cm. This paper focuses on the functioning of a B-OTDA device, where we address the problem of the improvement of spatial resolution. We model a Brillouin spectrum measured within an integration base of 1 m as the superposition of the elementary spectra contained in the base. Then, the spectral distortion phenomenon can be mathematically explained: if the strain is not constant within the integration base, the Brillouin spectrum is composed of several elementary spectra that are centered on different local Brillouin frequencies. We propose a source separation methodology approach to decompose a measured Brillouin spectrum into its spectral components. The local Brillouin frequencies and amplitudes are related to a portion of the integration base where the strain is constant. A layout algorithm allows the estimation of a strain profile with new spatial resolution chosen by the user. Numerical tests enable the finding of the optimal parameters, which provides a reduction to 1 cm of the 40-cm spatial resolution of the B-OTDA device. These parameters are highlighted during a comparison with a reference strain profile acquired by a 5-cm-resolution Rayleigh scatter analyzer under controlled conditions. In comparison with the B-OTDA strain profile, our estimated strain profile has better accuracy, with centimeter spatial resolu- ion.

Strain profiles measured by the OBR 1cm-resoluted (dotted line) and estimated thanks the proposed separation source algorithm with a 5cm spatial resolution (black line). Strain profiles measured by the OBR 1cm-resoluted (dotted line) and estimated thanks the proposed separation source algorithm with a 5cm spatial resolution (black line).

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Access, IEEE  (Volume:1 )
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