Optical-fiber strain gauges with asymmetric etched structures have been analyzed, fabricated, and tested. These sensors are very sensitive with a gauge factor as high as 170 and a flat frequency response to at least 2.7 kHz. The gauge factor depends on the asymmetry of the etched structures and the number of etched sections. To understand the physical principles involved, researchers have used structural analysis programs based on a finite-element method to analyze fibers with asymmetric etched structures under tensile stress. The results show that lateral bends are induced on the etched fibers when they are stretched axially. To relate the lateral bending to the optical attenuation, we have also employed a ray-tracing technique to investigate the dependence of the attenuation on the structural deformation. Based on the structural analysis and the ray-tracing study parameters affecting the sensitivity have been studied. These results agree with the results of experimental investigations.
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