OSA's Digital Library

Journal of Lightwave Technology

Journal of Lightwave Technology


  • Vol. 25, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2007
  • pp: 381–386

Dark-Pulse Brillouin Optical Time-Domain Sensor With 20-mm Spatial Resolution

Anthony W. Brown, Bruce G. Colpitts, and Kellie Brown

Journal of Lightwave Technology, Vol. 25, Issue 1, pp. 381-386 (2007)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (162 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools

  • Export Citation/Save Click for help


Brillouin scattering-based distributed fiber-optic sensing is a powerful measurement tool that uses the inelastic scattering of incident light by an acoustic wave (phonon) to determine strain and/or temperature conditions of the fiber. Since the original Brillouin-time-domain-analysis (BOTDA) technique was proposed, several other analysis methods have been introduced to improve sensing performance in four key areas: spatial resolution; measurement accuracy; total sensing length; and measurement-acquisition time. The four factors are generally interrelated and improvements to one factor often come at the cost of one or more of the others. For example, one system might sacrifice spatial resolution for total sensing length, while another might sacrifice accuracy to gain acquisition speed. We present a BOTDA system based on dark-pulse scattering that provides improved resolution, accuracy, and acquisition time over conventional BOTDA systems, without the severe limitations on sensing length often imposed by other high-resolution techniques. Theoretical validation of the method is given, and experimental results are presented that demonstrate 20-mm resolution strain measurements with an accuracy of ±20 με, which is the highest spatial resolution yet reported for a BOTDA system.

© 2007 IEEE

Anthony W. Brown, Bruce G. Colpitts, and Kellie Brown, "Dark-Pulse Brillouin Optical Time-Domain Sensor With 20-mm Spatial Resolution," J. Lightwave Technol. 25, 381-386 (2007)

Sort:  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. X. Bao, D. J. Webb, D. J. Jackson, "32-km distributed temperature sensor based on Brillouin loss in an optical fiber," Opt. Lett. 18, 1561-1563 (1993).
  2. A. Fellay, L. Thévenaz, M. Facchini, M. Niklès, P. Robert, "Distributed sensing using stimulated Brillouin scattering: Towards ultimate resolution ," Proc. 12th Int. Conf. Opt. Fibre Sensors, OSA Tech. Dig. Series (1997) pp. 324-327.
  3. A. W. Brown, M. D. DeMerchant, X. Bao, T. W. Bremner, "Spatial resolution enhancement of a Brillouin-distributed sensor using a novel signal processing method," J. Lightw. Technol. 17, 1179-1183 (1999).
  4. K. Hotate, M. Tanaka, "Distributed fiber Brillouin strain sensing with 1-cm spatial resolution by correlation-based continuous-wave technique," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 14, 179-181 (2002).
  5. D. Garus, T. Gogolla, K. Krebber, F. Schliep, "Brillouin optical-fiber frequency-domain analysis for distributed temperature and strain measurements," J. Lightw. Technol. 15, 654-662 (1997).
  6. X. Bao, A. W. Brown, M. D. DeMerchant, J. Smith, "Characterization of the Brillouin-loss spectrum of single-mode fibers by use of very short ( $<$ 10-ns) pulses," Opt. Lett. 24, 510-512 (1999).
  7. A. W. Brown, B. G. Colpitts, K. Brown, "Distributed sensor based on dark-pulse Brillouin scattering," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 1501-1503 (2005).
  8. S. V. Afshar, X. Bao, L. Zou, L. Chen, "Brillouin spectral deconvolution method for centimeter spatial resolution and high-accuracy strain measurement in Brillouin sensors," Opt. Lett. 30, 705-707 (2005).
  9. A. W. Brown, K. Brown, B. G. Colpitts, "High resolution distributed sensor using dark Brillouin scattering," Proc. SPIE—Smart Structures and Materials: Smart Sensor Monitoring Systems and Applications (2006) pp. 329-338.
  10. V. Lecœuche, D. J. Webb, C. N. Pannell, D. A. Jackson, "Transient response in high-resolution Brillouin-based distributed sensing using probe pulses shorter than the acoustic relaxation time," Opt. Lett. 25, 156-158 (2000).
  11. A. E. Marble, K. Brown, B. G. Colpitts, "Stimulated Brillouin scattering, modelled through a finite difference time domain approach ," Proc. SPIE—Photonics Applications in Telecommunications, Sensors, Software, and Lasers (2004) pp. 404-415.
  12. G. P. Agrawal, Nonlinear Fiber Optics (Academic, 2001).
  13. K. Shiraki, M. Ohashi, M. Tateda, "SBS threshold of a fiber with a Brillouin frequency shift distribution," J. Lightw. Technol. 14, 50-57 (1996).

Cited By

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited