Abstract

Sensors capable of making distributed measurements allow for monitoring of the entire structure. Optical fiber sensors are especially attractive for this purpose, since they are geometrically versatile and can be readily integrated within various types of structure and material. Development and characteristics of a quasi-distributed intrinsic fiber-optic strain sensor based on white-light interferometry are described. The research presented here describes the development of a new optical fiber sensor system for measurement of structural strains based on double white-light interferometry. Individual segments of single-mode optical fibers forming a common-path interferometer are linked in series, and a scanning white-light interferometer provides for distributed sensing of strain signals from various locations in the structure. The system is configured for automatic compensation of drift due to environmental effects, i.e., temperature and vibration. Strain gauges were employed for comparison and verification of strain signals as measured by the new system. The experimental results demonstrate the linearity of the system and the capability for distributed sensing of strains.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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