The optical fibre Sagnac interferometer: an overview of its principles and applications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

112 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The optical fibre Sagnac interferometer was first demonstrated over 25 years ago. Immediately its potential for gyroscopic measurements became apparent and since the first demonstration substantial research and development investment has evolved a diversity of rotation measuring instruments. The fibre Sagnac interferometer has, however, also ventured into unexpected domains. The fibre loop mirror has become the ubiquitous reflector. Sagnac-based intruder alarms, hydrophones, geophones and current measuring systems have emerged. The Sagnac interferometer has expanded from the rotation measuring instrument into a very versatile sensing tool. Indeed, it is arguably the most successful of optical fibre sensing technologies. In this paper, we review both the principles and applications of the fibre Sagnac interferometer. The background theory highlights the need to understand the conditions for reciprocity within the interferometer network. The applications range from the expected gyroscopes into novel hydrophone arrays and intruder detection systems. The basic interferometer is now well understood and the engineering required to realize useful and effective instruments has been carefully defined. Its versatility though continues to amaze even the most experienced practitioner and doubtless its applications potential will continue to expand.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-16
Number of pages15
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Volume17
Issue number01
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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Interferometer
Interferometers
Optical Fiber
Optical fibers
interferometers
optical fibers
Hydrophones
Measuring instruments
hydrophones
Fiber
fibers
Fibers
Sensing
Continue
Seismographs
Gyroscope
warning systems
Gyroscopes
gyroscopes
Reciprocity

Keywords

  • fibre optic sensors
  • fibre optic gyroscope
  • sagnac interferometer
  • navigation system

Cite this

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The optical fibre Sagnac interferometer: an overview of its principles and applications. / Culshaw, B.

In: Measurement Science and Technology, Vol. 17, No. 01, 2005, p. 1-16.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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