Abstract

This paper investigates the influences of laser source on distributed intrusion sensor based on a phase-sensitivity optical time-domain reflectometer (φ-OTDR). A numerical simulation is performed to illustrate the relationships between trace-to-trace fluctuations and frequency drift rate as well as pulse width, and fluctuations ratio coefficient (FRC) is proposed to evaluate the level of trace-to-trace fluctuations. The simulation results show that the FRC grows with increasing frequency drift rate and pulse width, reaches, and maintains the peak value when the frequency drift rate and/or the pulse width are high enough. Furthermore, experiments are implemented using a φ-OTDR prototype with a low frequency drift laser (<5MHz/min), of which the high frequency drift rate is simulated by frequency sweeping. The good agreement of experimental with simulated results in the region of high frequency drift rate validates the theoretical analysis, and the huge differences between them in the region of low frequency drift rate indicate the place of laser frequency drift among system noises. The conclusion is useful for choosing laser sources and improving the performance of φ-OTDR.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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