A simple approach is proposed for quantifying the errors in measuring the Brillouin frequency shifts associated with stresses whose lengths are shorter than the pulse length. The smallest detectable Brillouin frequency shift is thus determined with respect to the size of the stressed sections and the frequency resolution. The lowest detectable frequency shift is found to be ∼42% of the Brillouin gain natural linewidth. A worst-case iso-error curve that associates the minimum frequency shift to the length of the stressed region is derived. A minimum resolvable frequency shift and minimum detectable stress length are defined with an approach based on a Rayleigh equivalent criterion.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(060.2300) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber measurements
(060.2370) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics sensors
(120.0280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Remote sensing and sensors
(120.5820) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Scattering measurements
Fabien Ravet, Xiaoyi Bao, and Liang Chen, "Simple approach to determining the minimum measurable stress length and stress measurement accuracy in distributed Brillouin sensing," Appl. Opt. 44, 5304-5310 (2005)