Distributed optical fiber for sensing (DOFS) is a technology that “transforms” a conventional fiber optic technology into an array of individual optical fiber sensors. Thanks to the ability to gauge the rates of deformations and temperature change the methods based on optical fibers for sensing are getting more attention. The unique options make optical fibers a great solution for controlling large infrastructures (like bridges and pipelines).
Spanish scientists have presented a new fiber optic system based on the principle of employment of two mutually coherent optical frequency combs. This current design allows measuring deformation and temperature changes. According to the results, this invention will lead to new developments in structural health monitoring of aerospace components and wellbore production surveillance.
The fiber optic technology relies on applying an engineered ultra-dense optical frequency comb. The second optical comb that has the bandwidth and coding special phase similar to the fiber optic probe locates the return signal. However, unlike the fiber optic probe, the optical comb has a different tooth spacing.
There is also another model where both combs are generated from one fiber optic laser. This model has some remarkable options. The consumer can get a preferred performance for the optical fibers for sensing thanks to the flexibility in the combs’ design. Moreover, there is an opportunity to maximize the power injected into the optical fibers for sensing. The final option is crucial for carrying out distributed sensing. The optical signals’ power could be easily minimized. Herewith, the high average power is preserving.
The scientists introduced the method of considerably extend the sensing range while there is no cutting of the acoustic sampling rate. The thought is to use two combs with different tooth spacing to create the generated time signals. That leads to performance improvement because the detection bandwidth is increasing.
The newly created techniques open new fields for development based on the optical fibers for sensing. According to the research results, this would help to create optical fibers for sensing that could provide a fast speed of acquisition, small detection bandwidth, and high spatial resolution.
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