Abstract

Accurate and dynamic control of the operating point of an interferometric optical sensor to produce the highest sensitivity is crucial in the demodulation of interferometric optical sensors to compensate for manufacturing errors and environmental perturbations. A grating-assisted operating-point tuning system has been designed that uses a diffraction grating and feedback control, functions as a tunable-bandpass optical filter, and can be used as an effective demodulation subsystem in sensor systems based on optical interferometers that use broadband light sources. This demodulation method has no signal-detection bandwidth limit, a high tuning speed, a large tunable range, increased interference fringe contrast, and the potential for absolute optical-path-difference measurement. The achieved 40-nm tuning range, which is limited by the available source spectrum width, 400-nm/s tuning speed, and a step resolution of 0.4 nm, is sufficient for most practical measurements. A significant improvement in signal-to-noise ratio in a fiber Fabry-Perot acoustic-wave sensor system proved that the expected fringe contrast and sensitivity increase.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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