A hot-wire fiber-optic water flow sensor based on laser-heated silicon Fabry-Pérot interferometer (FPI) has been proposed and demonstrated in this paper. The operation of the sensor is based on the convective heat loss to water from a heated silicon FPI attached to the cleaved enface of a piece of single-mode fiber. The flow-induced change in the temperature is demodulated by the spectral shifts of the reflection fringes. An analytical model based on the FPI theory and heat transfer analysis has been developed for performance analysis. Numerical simulations based on finite element analysis have been conducted. The analytical and numerical results agree with each other in predicting the behavior of the sensor. Experiments have also been carried to demonstrate the sensing principle and verify the theoretical analysis. Investigations suggest that the sensitivity at low flow rates are much larger than that at high flow rates and the sensitivity can be easily improved by increasing the heating laser power. Experimental results show that an average sensitivity of 52.4 nm/(m/s) for the flow speed range of 1.5 mm/s to 12 mm/s was obtained with a heating power of ~12 mW, suggesting a resolution of ~1 μm/s assuming a wavelength resolution of 0.05 pm.
Temperature measurement is one of the key quantifies in ocean research. Temperature variations on small and large scales are key to air-sea interactions and climate change, and also regulate circulation patterns, and heat exchange. The influence from rapid temperature changes within microstructures are can have strong impacts to optical and acoustical sensor performance. In this paper, we present an optical fiber sensor for the high-resolution and high-speed temperature profiling. The developed sensor consists of a thin piece of silicon wafer which forms a Fabry-Pérot interferometer (FPI) on the end of fiber. Due to the unique properties of silicon, such as large thermal diffusivity, notable thermo-optic effects and thermal expansion coefficients of silicon, the proposed sensor exhibits excellent sensitivity and fast response to temperature variation. The small mass of the tiny probe also contributes to a fast response due to the large surface-tovolume ratio. The high reflective index at infrared wavelength range and surface flatness of silicon endow the FPI a spectrum with high visibilities, leading to a superior temperature resolution along with a new data processing method developed by us. Experimental results indicate that the fiber-optic temperature sensor can achieve a temperature resolution better than 0.001°C with a sampling frequency as high as 2 kHz. In addition, the miniature footprint of the senor provide high spatial resolutions. Using this high performance thermometer, excellent characterization of the realtime temperature profile within the flow of water turbulence has been realized.
Temperature microstructure in the ocean can lead to localized changes in the index of refraction and can distort underwater electro-optical (EO) signal transmission. A similar phenomenon is well-known from atmospheric optics and generally referred to as “optical turbulence”. Though turbulent fluctuations in the ocean distort EO signal transmission and can impact various underwater applications, from diver visibility to active and passive remote sensing, there have been few studies investigating the subject. To provide a test bed for the study of impacts from turbulent flows on underwater EO signal transmission, and to examine and mitigate turbulence effects, we set up a laboratory turbulence environment allowing the variation of turbulence intensity. Convective turbulence is generated in a large Rayleigh- Bénard tank and the turbulent flow is quantified using high-resolution Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter profilers and fast thermistor probes. The turbulence measurements are complemented by computational fluid dynamics simulations of convective turbulence emulating the tank environment. These numerical simulations supplement the sparse laboratory measurements. The numerical data compared well to the laboratory data and both conformed to the Kolmogorov spectrum of turbulence and the Batchelor spectrum of temperature fluctuations. The controlled turbulence environment can be used to assess optical image degradation in the tank in relation to turbulence intensity, as well as to apply adaptive optics techniques. This innovative approach that combines optical techniques, turbulence measurements and numerical simulations can help understand how to mitigate the effects of turbulence impacts on underwater optical signal transmission, as well as advance optical techniques to probe oceanic processes.
Flowmeters have been finding vast applications in all kinds of industrial processes, such as process control, food quality surveillance, wind turbines, environment monitoring, etc. In this paper, we propose a new anemometer which consists of a Fabry-Pérot interferometer (FPI) implemented using a thin silicon mounted on the tip of an optical fiber. The anemometer takes advantage of the superior thermal and optical properties of silicon. Silicon is transparent to infrared wavelength, while it absorbs visible light. Thus, the silicon FPI can be heated by a beam injected from a red diode laser while the infrared signals go through it without any interference from the heating light. The heat loss from the silicon film will increase when the sensor is placed in stronger flow (wind), which induces a decrease in the optical path of the silicon FPI, which lead to blueshifts the output spectrum. A higher wind speed corresponds to a larger wavelength shift. By tuning the heating power, the response range and sensitivity of the anemometer is changed. Experimental results demonstrate that a wavelength shift -0.574 nm was observed for a wind speed of 4 m/s. Better sensitivity is to be expected when stronger heating applied. The proposed sensor also features simple structure, low cost and fast response.
We develop a novel ultrasonic sensor system using a fiber ring laser (FRL) to detect acoustic emissions. The sensor
system incorporates two fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) in the FRL cavity, a short and strong FBG as the sensing element
and a long and weak FBG as the adapting element. The reflection spectra of both FBGs are matched such that the
reflection peak of the long FBG is positioned at the linear slope of the short FBG’s reflection spectrum. Ultrasonic waves
impinging onto the FBGs are to modulate the FRL cavity loss, which leads to laser intensity variations that can be
detected directly by photodetectors. The two FBGs are placed side-by-side in close proximity so that the sensor system is
able to adapt to the ambient temperature drift. We demonstrate that the ultrasonic sensor system can operate normally
within approximately 15ºC temperature change. In addition, the performance of signal-to-noise ratios is investigated as a
function of the FRL cavity loss. The proposed temperature-insensitive sensor system is attractive in practical applications
where temperature change is unavoidable.