Abstract

A shock wave (SW) is characterized as a large pressure fluctuation that typically lasts only a few milliseconds. On the battlefield, SWs pose a serious threat to soldiers who are exposed to explosions, which may lead to blast-induced traumatic brain injuries. SWs can also be used beneficially and have been applied to a variety of medical treatments due to their unique interaction with tissues and cells. Consequently, it is important to have sensors that can quantify SW dynamics in order to better understand the physical interaction between body tissue and the incident acoustic wave. In this paper, the ultrafast fiber-optic sensor based on the Fabry–Perot interferometric principle was designed and four such sensors were fabricated to quantify a blast event within different media, simultaneously. The compact design of the fiber-optic sensor allows for a high degree of spatial resolution when capturing the wavefront of the traveling SW. Several blast event experiments were conducted within different media (e.g., air, rubber membrane, and water) to evaluate the sensor’s performance. This research revealed valuable knowledge for further study of SW behavior and SW-related applications.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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