Polarization properties of interferometrically interrogated fiber Bragg grating and tandem-interferometer strain sensors

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


Lead sensitivity in low-coherence interferometric fiber-optic sensors is a well-known problem. It can lead to a severe degradation in the sensor resolution and accuracy through its effect on the fringe visibility and interferometric phase. These sensitivities have been attributed to birefringence in the various components. In the current work, an analysis of the polarization properties of fiber Bragg grating and tandem-interferometer strain sensors, using Stokes calculus and the Poincare sphere, is presented. The responses of these sensors as a function of the birefringence properties of the various components under different illuminating conditions are derived. The predicted responses demonstrate very good agreement with experimentally measured responses. These models provide a clear insight into the evolution of the polarization states through the sensor networks. Methods to overcome the lead sensitivity are discussed and demonstrated, which yield a differential strain measurement accuracy of 18 n epsilon - rms for a fiber Bragg grating sensor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1787-1795
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • sensor phenomena and characterization
  • birefringence
  • bragg gratings
  • capacitive sensors
  • decoding
  • fiber gratings
  • optical fiber polarization
  • optical fiber sensors
  • optical interferometry
  • optical polarization
  • polarization properties
  • interferometrically
  • tandem-interferometer strain sensors

Cite this