Abstract

A strain-distribution sensing technique based on the measurement of the phase spectrum of the reflected light from a fiber-optic Bragg grating is described. When a grating is subject to a strain gradient, the grating will experience a chirp and therefore the resonant wavelength will vary along the grating, causing wavelength-dependent penetration depth. Because the group delay for each wavelength component is related to its penetration depth and the resonant wavelength is determined by strain, a measured phase spectrum can then indicate the local strain as a function of location within the grating. This phase-based Bragg grating sensing technique offers a powerful new means for studying some important effects over a few millimeters or centimeters in smart structures.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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