Abstract

The influence of reflector losses attracts little discussion in standard treatments of the Fabry–Perot interferometer yet may be an important factor contributing to errors in phase-stepped demodulation of fiber optic Fabry–Perot (FFP) sensors. We describe a general transfer function for FFP sensors with complex reflection coefficients and estimate systematic phase errors that arise when the asymmetry of the reflected fringe system is neglected, as is common in the literature. The measured asymmetric response of higher-finesse metal–dielectric FFP constructions corroborates a model that predicts systematic phase errors of 0.06 rad in three-step demodulation of a low-finesse FFP sensor (R = 0.05) with internal reflector losses of 25%.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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