Fiber Optics-Distributed Sensor System (TOP1-468)

The DSS determines the Bragg reflectivity and wavelength at every point along an optical fiber by measuring the interference of the light reflected from the Bragg gratings with the light from a reference reflector. The reflected spectrum of any section of fiber can then be computed. Shifts in this spectrum provide an accurate measurement of the strain in that section of fiber. Currently, sections can be as short as 1.5 inches and range more than 20 feet. A plot of the Bragg gratings along the length of the sensing fiber can be generated to show the location, length, and relative strength of all the Bragg gratings. Because the reference reflector is located in the same fiber with the Bragg gratings, the demodulation instrumentation could potentially be miles away from the sensing fiber. The Bragg gratings have a very low reflectivity. Thus, they are easily manufactured with only modest optical equipment.

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