Abstract

We describe the combination of a polarimetric pressure sensor with a two-wavelength passive quadrature demodulation system allowing for dynamic pressure sensing in the 10-MPa range with unambiguous fringe counting. Furthermore, continuous phase measurement with the arctan method applied to the quadrature interference signals after automatic offset subtraction is demonstrated for the first time, to our knowledge. A single low-coherent superluminescent diode is used as a light source, and a polarizing beam splitter in combination with two adjustable interference filters of slightly different central wavelengths serves for the creation of the quadrature signals. Results of initial experiments with 60-ms pressure relaxation-time constants with the fringe-counting technique demonstrate the performance that was predicted theoretically. The measured pressure sensitivity exhibits excellent agreement with the previous research of Bock and Urbanczyk [IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas. 44, 694–697 (1995)] using a polarimetric readout. The fringe-contrast variation and the measurement range obtained experimentally show the fiber dispersion to influence dephasing (deviation from quadrature) and visibility decrease significantly with increasing pressure.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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