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Frontiers of Optoelectronics

Front. Optoelectron.    2019, Vol. 12 Issue (2) : 215-226
Reflectometric and interferometric fiber optic sensor’s principles and applications
Muhammad Noaman ZAHID, Jianliang JIANG(), Saad RIZVI
School of Optics and Photonics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
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Fiber optic sensors have been widely used and studied in recent times. This paper presents operating principles and applications of fiber optic sensors namely reflectometric and interferometric fiber optic sensors. Majority of optical fiber sensors fall under these two broad categories. Both interferometric and reflectometric fiber optic sensors are becoming popular for their ease of use, flexibility, long distance sensing, and potentially noise free detection. Also, these sensors can easily be used in various applications such as structural health monitoring, perimeter intrusion detection, temperature monitoring, and other numerous applications. This paper broadly classifies fiber optic sensors into two subtypes. The paper further highlights different sensors based on their sensing resolution, range, spatial advantages, and applications.

Keywords fiber optic      reflectometric      interferometric      optical fiber sensors      sensor applications     
Corresponding Author(s): Jianliang JIANG   
Online First Date: 08 May 2019    Issue Date: 03 July 2019
 Cite this article:   
Muhammad Noaman ZAHID,Jianliang JIANG,Saad RIZVI. Reflectometric and interferometric fiber optic sensor’s principles and applications[J]. Front. Optoelectron., 2019, 12(2): 215-226.
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Muhammad Noaman ZAHID
Jianliang JIANG
Fig.1  Block diagram of intrinsic sensors
Fig.2  Block diagram of extrinsic sensors. OTDR: optical time domain reflectometry; BOTDR: Brillouin optical time domain reflectometry; F-OTDR: phase-sensitive optical time-domain reflectometry
Fig.3  Block diagram of interferometric sensors
Fig.4  Configuration of OTDR system
Fig.5  Configuration of BOTDR
Fig.6  Configuration of F-OTDR
Fig.7  Interferometer response
Fig.8  Sagnac interferometer configuration
Fig.9  Mach-Zhender interferometers configuration
Fig.10  Michelson interferometer configuration
Fig.11  Michelson interferometer configuration
Fig.12  OCT instrument using Michelson interferometer configuration
Fig.13  Michelson interferometer configuration using optical power divider. PM: phase modulator
Fig.14  Fabry-Perot configuration
types applications
relectometric techniques OTDR for return loss measurements [57]
BOTDR for testing fiber optic cables
widely used for optical cable maintenance and construction
can be used for sensing chemicals and gases
the strain that arises when laying submarine optical fiber cable can be measured [58]
F-OTDR detection of earthquake damage [59]
the strain in frozen telecommunications cable can determined [59]
for structural monitoring [60]
optical fiber sensor system for river levee collapse detection [61]
well suited for underground deployments [62]
for use of intrusion detection or high-speed train monitoring [63]
abnormal vibration detection along oil/gas pipes [6467]
intrusion alarm and location system [6467].
distributed acoustic test for train tracking [6467]
interferometric techniques Fabry-Perot thermospheric/ionospheric measurements [68]
vibration measurements [45-46]
Sagnac optical rotation sensing [29,30]
acoustic measurements [26]
magnetic measurements [27]
strain and acceleration measurements [28]
Mach-Zhender used to measure magnetic field and acoustic sensing [37]
used in optical processing of signals like switching, add drop multiplexing, modulators [69]
to monitor the extent of deformation in the nanometer scales during the reaction [70]
Michelson for detection of gravitational waves [40]
in astronomical interferometry [40]
in optical coherence tomography [41]
velocity and vibration can be measured [44].
as the core of Fourier transform spectroscopy [71]
Tab.1  Summary of reflectometric and interferometric fiber optic sensors
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