15 May 2014 Reflective polarimetric vibration sensor based on temperature-independent FBG in HiBi microstructured optical fiber
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Abstract
Fiber optic sensors outperform traditional sensor technologies in fields such as structural health monitoring, vibration and seismic activity monitoring, intrusion detection, and many other applications. Their key advantages include electromagnetic interference immunity, lightweight, small size, multiplexing capabilities, low power consumption, corrosion and high temperature resistance. To meet the demand of more and more challenging optical sensors a new generation of optical fibers, the so-called microstructured optical fibers (MOFs), has appeared. These fibers are composed of a structure of holes surrounding a solid core, which offers a unique design flexibility to optimize their waveguide properties for specific applications. In particular, the design can be optimized to strongly reduce the cross-sensitivity of a sensor to parasitic physical parameters like temperature variations, as is the case for the sensor presented here. Our sensor is based on a Bragg grating inside a temperature independent highly birefringent MOF with a high transverse strain sensitivity, to evaluate vibrations by a polarimetric measurement of the reflection spectrum. This technique takes advantage of the stress-induced phase shift between the two orthogonally polarized fiber eigenmodes. It consists in coupling linearly polarized light through one arm of an optical coupler (50:50) in the sensing optical fiber in which a highly reflective fiber Bragg grating is inscribed. The reflected signal is analysed through a linear polarizer. The optical fiber is crushed by a mechanical transducer designed to transform the vibration into a mechanical stress transversal to the fiber’s axis. The vibration therefore induces a change of the phase modal birefringence that varies in time at the vibration frequency. In this study we show that using standard single-mode fibers to realize the sensor do not provide stable measurements and that using conventional polarization-maintaining fibers lead to a significant cross-sensitivity to temperature. We then show that the use of a specific type of highly birefringent microstructured optical fiber allows temperature independent (up to 120°C) and repeatable vibration measurements.
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Karima Chah, Christophe Caucheteur, Patrice Mégret, Sanne Sulejmani, Thomas Geernaert, Hugo Thienpont, Francis Berghmans, Marc Wuilpart, "Reflective polarimetric vibration sensor based on temperature-independent FBG in HiBi microstructured optical fiber", Proc. SPIE 9141, Optical Sensing and Detection III, 91410U (15 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2054201; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2054201
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