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Sensors 2012, 12(7), 8601-8639; doi:10.3390/s120708601
Review

Recent Progress in Distributed Fiber Optic Sensors

*  and
Physics Department, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N6N5, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 May 2012 / Revised: 15 June 2012 / Accepted: 19 June 2012 / Published: 26 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fiber Sensors)
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Abstract

Rayleigh, Brillouin and Raman scatterings in fibers result from the interaction of photons with local material characteristic features like density, temperature and strain. For example an acoustic/mechanical wave generates a dynamic density variation; such a variation may be affected by local temperature, strain, vibration and birefringence. By detecting changes in the amplitude, frequency and phase of light scattered along a fiber, one can realize a distributed fiber sensor for measuring localized temperature, strain, vibration and birefringence over lengths ranging from meters to one hundred kilometers. Such a measurement can be made in the time domain or frequency domain to resolve location information. With coherent detection of the scattered light one can observe changes in birefringence and beat length for fibers and devices. The progress on state of the art technology for sensing performance, in terms of spatial resolution and limitations on sensing length is reviewed. These distributed sensors can be used for disaster prevention in the civil structural monitoring of pipelines, bridges, dams and railroads. A sensor with centimeter spatial resolution and high precision measurement of temperature, strain, vibration and birefringence can find applications in aerospace smart structures, material processing, and the characterization of optical materials and devices.
Keywords: fiber optic sensors; brillouin scattering; Rayleigh scattering; Raman scattering; distributed sensors; birefringence; temperature; strain; vibration; optical time domain reflectrometer (OTDR); optical frequency domain reflectrometer (OFDR) fiber optic sensors; brillouin scattering; Rayleigh scattering; Raman scattering; distributed sensors; birefringence; temperature; strain; vibration; optical time domain reflectrometer (OTDR); optical frequency domain reflectrometer (OFDR)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Bao, X.; Chen, L. Recent Progress in Distributed Fiber Optic Sensors. Sensors 2012, 12, 8601-8639.

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