The influence to the sensing performance of polarization optical time domain reflectometer (POTDR) by increasing the optical pulse width is analyzed based on wave-plate model and Muller matrices. Simulation and experimental results show that the ability of POTDR to sense external perturbation can be improved by increasing the pulse width of probe light, although the backscattered signal would be temporally depolarized. The depolarization effect is not a limitation to increase the pulse width to improve the signal-to-noise ratio for POTDR. The beat length of fiber can be taken as the critical value for the increase of pulse width.
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