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Open AccessArticle

Enhanced Distributed Fiber Optic Vibration Sensing and Simultaneous Temperature Gradient Sensing Using Traditional C-OTDR and Structured Fiber with Scattering Dots

1
Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), Unter den Eichen 87, 12205 Berlin, Germany
2
Department High Voltage Engineering, Technische Universität Berlin (TUB), Einsteinufer 11, 10587 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Member of BAM till 30 September 2018.
Sensors 2019, 19(19), 4114; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194114
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 15 September 2019 / Accepted: 21 September 2019 / Published: 23 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensing)
We present results demonstrating several beneficial effects on distributed fiber optic vibration sensing (DVS) functionality and performance resulting from utilizing standard single mode optical fiber (SMF) with femtosecond laser-inscribed equally-spaced simple scattering dots. This modification is particularly useful when using traditional single-wavelength amplitude-based coherent optical time domain reflectometry (C-OTDR) as sensing method. Local sensitivity is increased in quasi-distributed interferometric sensing zones which are formed by the fiber segments between subsequent pairs of the scattering dots. The otherwise nonlinear transfer function is overwritten with that of an ordinary two-beam interferometer. This linearizes the phase response to monotonous temperature variations. Furthermore, sensitivity fading is mitigated and the demodulation of low-frequency signals is enabled. The modification also allows for the quantitative determination of local temperature gradients directly from the C-OTDR intensity traces. The dots’ reflectivities and thus the induced attenuation can be tuned via the inscription process parameters. Our approach is a simple, robust and cost-effective way to gain these sensing improvements without the need for more sophisticated interrogator technology or more complex fiber structuring, e.g., based on ultra-weak FBG arrays. Our claims are substantiated by experimental evidence. View Full-Text
Keywords: fiber optic sensors; distributed vibration sensing; DVS; distributed temperature gradient sensing; DTGS; C-OTDR; phase-sensitive OTDR; fiber structuring; fs-inscription fiber optic sensors; distributed vibration sensing; DVS; distributed temperature gradient sensing; DTGS; C-OTDR; phase-sensitive OTDR; fiber structuring; fs-inscription
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Hicke, K.; Eisermann, R.; Chruscicki, S. Enhanced Distributed Fiber Optic Vibration Sensing and Simultaneous Temperature Gradient Sensing Using Traditional C-OTDR and Structured Fiber with Scattering Dots. Sensors 2019, 19, 4114.

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