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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 39, Iss. 25 — Sep. 1, 2000
  • pp: 4569–4581

Optical frequency-domain reflectometry for microbend sensor demodulation

S. Gareth Pierce, Alistair MacLean, and Brian Culshaw  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 25, pp. 4569-4581 (2000)

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The operation of an incoherent optical frequency-domain reflectometer for monitoring the continuous Rayleigh backscatter in a multimode optical fiber is presented. A simple but effective model to predict the value of beat frequencies arising in the system when excited by a linearly frequency-swept amplitude modulation has been developed. We have verified the model’s predictions by experimental measurement of beat frequencies and modulation depth indices of different lengths of standard graded-index multimode optical fiber. Demonstration of the system sensitivity to the detection of microbending loss is then discussed. In particular the detection of loss in a hydrogel-based water-sensing cable allows an alternative interrogation to conventional optical time-domain reflectometry techniques to be implemented. We demonstrate that the incoherent optical frequency-domain reflectometer is capable of detecting and locating sections of increased loss in a multimode optical fiber, and we discuss the fundamental limits on spatial resolution and dynamic range.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.2370) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics sensors
(290.5870) Scattering : Scattering, Rayleigh

Original Manuscript: March 2, 2000
Revised Manuscript: June 13, 2000
Published: September 1, 2000

S. Gareth Pierce, Alistair MacLean, and Brian Culshaw, "Optical frequency-domain reflectometry for microbend sensor demodulation," Appl. Opt. 39, 4569-4581 (2000)

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