Abstract

A robust interferometric fiber-optic current sensor with inherent temperature compensation of the Faraday effect is presented. Sensor configurations based on Sagnac and polarization-rotated reflection interferometers are considered. The sensing fiber is residing and thermally annealed in a coiled capillary of fused silica. The capillary is embedded in silicone within a ring-shaped housing. It is theoretically and experimentally shown that the temperature dependence of the birefringent fiber-optic phase retarders of the interferometers can be employed to balance the temperature dependence of the Faraday effect (0.7 x 10-4 / C). Insensitivity of the sensor to temperature within 0.2% is demonstrated between - 35 C and 85 C. The influence of the phase retarders on the linearity of the sensor is also addressed. Furthermore, the sensitivity to vibration of the two configurations at frequencies up to 500 Hz and accelerations up to 10 g is compared. High immunity of the reflective sensor to mechanical perturbations is verified.

© 2002 IEEE

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