Abstract

A fiber-optic measurement system is described that allows ultrasound to be detected in fluids. It is based on a heterodyne interferometer, and the sensing element consists of a metal-coated fiber tip. The heterodyne technique permits direct acquisition of the sound pressure. The required ac photodetection is carried out with wide bandwidth, and the system provides high temporal and spatial resolution. For optimum performance the system parameters are matched to the sound-wave properties of the current application with the aid of theoretical and numerical calculations. The fiber-optic sensor system was applied to two problems of ultrasonic exposimetry in which the favorable features of the measurement technique were exploited. Shock waves from an electromagnetic lithotripter were investigated by use of the wide bandwidth of the system, and the subharmonic in an ultrasonic cleaner was detected, which indicates cavitation.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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