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Self-calibrated interferometric-intensity-based optical fiber sensors

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6 Author(s)
A. Wang ; Bradley Dept. of Electr. Eng., Virginia Polytech. Inst. & State Univ., Blacksburg, VA, USA ; H. Xiao ; J. Wang ; Z. Wang
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This paper presents self-calibrated interferometric-intensity-based optical fiber sensors, which combine for the first time fiber interferometry and intensity-based devices into a single sensor system. The sensor involves an extrinsic Fabry-Perot (FP) interferometric cavity. The broadband light returned from the FP cavity is split into two channels in such a way that one channel has a coherence length much longer than the doubled air-gap separation in the sensor so the FP generates effective interference, while the coherence length in the other channel is so short that no effective interference takes place. As a result, the optical signal in the channel with a long coherence length yields information about the FP cavity length while the signal in the other channel is proportional only to the source power, fiber attenuation, and other optical loss factors in the optical path. To eliminate fringe direction ambiguity and relative measurement limitations associated with interferometric sensors, the sensor is designed such that it is operated over the linear range between a valley and a peak of one interference fringe in the first channel. Moreover, the ratiometric signal-processing method is applied for the signals in the two channels to obtain self-calibrating measurement to compensate for all unwanted factors, including source power variations and fiber bending losses. Various pressure and temperature sensors based on the self-calibrated interferometric/intensity-based scheme are designed, fabricated, and tested. Experimental results show that a resolution as high as 0.02% of full scale can be obtained for both the pressure and temperature measurements

Published in:

Journal of Lightwave Technology  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 10 )