Distributed feedback fiber laser strain sensors

G.A. Cranch, Gordon M.H. Flockhart, C.K. Kirkendall

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

168 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The distributed feedback (DFB) fiber laser strain sensor has demonstrated strain resolution comparable to that obtained from high-performance fiber-optic interferometry. This manuscript describes the characteristics and performance of this fiber laser strain sensor and discusses the technological developments necessary to obtain comparable performance from a multiplexed array of laser sensors. The design of the Bragg grating and doped fiber are discussed, where possible providing simplified equations to quantify the relevant design parameters. Techniques based on fiber-optic interferometry to decode the wavelength shifts of the laser are presented and potential noise sources are described. Measurements conducted on a test laser demonstrate the capability of the DFB fiber laser to resolve effective length changes to less than 0.76 fm/Hz1/2 at 2 kHz. The accuracy of the strain measurement, calculated by subtracting the output of two lasers subjected to the same strain, is found to be less than 1%. Issues relating to multiplexing lasers, such as pump power depletion and optical feedback, are described along with methods to maximize the number of lasers serially multiplexed on a single fiber. Finally, the strain transduction mechanism and methods to mount the laser sensor are described. It is shown that for certain applications, the DFB fiber laser sensor provides significant performance benefits when compared with remotely interrogated fiber-optic interferometric sensing techniques.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1161-1172
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008

Fingerprint

Distributed feedback lasers
distributed feedback lasers
Fiber lasers
fiber lasers
Lasers
sensors
Sensors
lasers
Fiber optics
fiber optics
Interferometry
interferometry
Optical feedback
Bragg gratings
fibers
Fibers
strain measurement
Strain measurement
Optical resolving power
multiplexing

Keywords

  • Bragg gratings
  • distributed feedback lasers
  • erbium
  • fibre lasers
  • fibre optic sensors
  • laser feedback
  • measurement by laser beam
  • measurement uncertainty
  • optical pumping
  • strain measurement
  • strain sensors

Cite this

Cranch, G.A. ; Flockhart, Gordon M.H. ; Kirkendall, C.K. / Distributed feedback fiber laser strain sensors. In: IEEE Sensors Journal. 2008 ; Vol. 8, No. 7. pp. 1161-1172.
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title = "Distributed feedback fiber laser strain sensors",
abstract = "The distributed feedback (DFB) fiber laser strain sensor has demonstrated strain resolution comparable to that obtained from high-performance fiber-optic interferometry. This manuscript describes the characteristics and performance of this fiber laser strain sensor and discusses the technological developments necessary to obtain comparable performance from a multiplexed array of laser sensors. The design of the Bragg grating and doped fiber are discussed, where possible providing simplified equations to quantify the relevant design parameters. Techniques based on fiber-optic interferometry to decode the wavelength shifts of the laser are presented and potential noise sources are described. Measurements conducted on a test laser demonstrate the capability of the DFB fiber laser to resolve effective length changes to less than 0.76 fm/Hz1/2 at 2 kHz. The accuracy of the strain measurement, calculated by subtracting the output of two lasers subjected to the same strain, is found to be less than 1{\%}. Issues relating to multiplexing lasers, such as pump power depletion and optical feedback, are described along with methods to maximize the number of lasers serially multiplexed on a single fiber. Finally, the strain transduction mechanism and methods to mount the laser sensor are described. It is shown that for certain applications, the DFB fiber laser sensor provides significant performance benefits when compared with remotely interrogated fiber-optic interferometric sensing techniques.",
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Distributed feedback fiber laser strain sensors. / Cranch, G.A.; Flockhart, Gordon M.H.; Kirkendall, C.K.

In: IEEE Sensors Journal, Vol. 8, No. 7, 07.2008, p. 1161-1172.

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

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AB - The distributed feedback (DFB) fiber laser strain sensor has demonstrated strain resolution comparable to that obtained from high-performance fiber-optic interferometry. This manuscript describes the characteristics and performance of this fiber laser strain sensor and discusses the technological developments necessary to obtain comparable performance from a multiplexed array of laser sensors. The design of the Bragg grating and doped fiber are discussed, where possible providing simplified equations to quantify the relevant design parameters. Techniques based on fiber-optic interferometry to decode the wavelength shifts of the laser are presented and potential noise sources are described. Measurements conducted on a test laser demonstrate the capability of the DFB fiber laser to resolve effective length changes to less than 0.76 fm/Hz1/2 at 2 kHz. The accuracy of the strain measurement, calculated by subtracting the output of two lasers subjected to the same strain, is found to be less than 1%. Issues relating to multiplexing lasers, such as pump power depletion and optical feedback, are described along with methods to maximize the number of lasers serially multiplexed on a single fiber. Finally, the strain transduction mechanism and methods to mount the laser sensor are described. It is shown that for certain applications, the DFB fiber laser sensor provides significant performance benefits when compared with remotely interrogated fiber-optic interferometric sensing techniques.

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