The results of an investigation of the performance of a time-division-addressed fiber-optic gas-sensor array by means of wavelength modulation of a distributed-feedback (DFB) laser are reported. The system performance is found to be severely limited by the extinction ratio of the optical switch used for pulse amplitude modulation. Formulas that relate the cross-talk level to the extinction ratio of the switch, the modulation parameters of the DFB laser, and the optical path differences among sensing channels are derived. Computer simulation shows that an array of 20 methane gas sensors with a detection sensitivity of 2000 parts in 10<sup>6</sup> (ppm) (10-cm gas cell) for each sensor may be realized with a commercially available single Mach–Zehnder amplitude modulator (−35-dB extinction ratio). An array of 100 sensors with a 100-ppm detection sensitivity for each sensor may be realized if a double Mach–Zehnder amplitude modulator is used.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(060.2310) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics
(060.2370) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics sensors
(060.4230) Fiber optics and optical communications : Multiplexing
(300.6260) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, diode lasers
Wei Jin, "Performance Analysis of a Time-Division-Multiplexed Fiber-Optic Gas-Sensor Array by Wavelength Modulation of a Distributed-Feedback Laser," Appl. Opt. 38, 5290-5297 (1999)