Abstract

Frequency-derived distributed optical-fiber sensing is a method for remote measurement of the spatial distribution of linear birefringence in an optical fiber, allowing a corresponding measurement of those external measurands that influence this birefringence. The method employs a pump–probe scheme, which, by use of the optical Kerr effect, generates an optical modulation of the probe beam, with a modulation frequency whose temporal variation maps the spatial distribution of birefringence. We provide a complete theoretical analysis of this method by using Jones calculus and graphic representation on the Poincaré sphere. The relevant characterization of the technique and some experimental results are also presented; these show good agreement with the theory.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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