A multi-point fiber sensing system formed from a linear cavity laser is proposed. Various optical sensing systems have been investigated, for example, using fiber Bragg grating (FBG) and Brillouin scattering for multi-point sensing. This paper focuses on a simple sensing system by using multi-wavelength lasing with parallel cavities and a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). First, optical nonlinearity in amplification of the SOA is discussed to clarify the effects of gain saturation and four-wave mixing on the proposed multi-channel sensing system. And then lasing conditions in the linear cavity laser consisting of an SOA, an arrayed waveguide grating (AWG), and FBGs are theoretically investigated. The multi-wavelength lasing power is found to be limited mainly by gain saturation in the SOA. The lasing power for the eight-channel system is evaluated to be when the total loss in the linear cavity is 10 dB. The lasing power can be increased by 3 dB when the channel number is decreased to four. Next, multi-wavelength lasing in the cavity consisting of an SOA, an AWG, a loop mirror, and fiber mirror reflectors is experimentally demonstrated up to eight channels. Finally, two-channel temperature sensing ranging from 13°C to 76°C is experimentally confirmed by using two FBGs as the sensing elements with an AWG having 100-GHz bandwidth.
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