Abstract

Fiber optic Fabry–Perot sensors are commonly interrogated by spectral interferometric measurement of optical path difference (OPD). Spurious jumps in sensor output, previously attributed to noise, are often observed in OPD-based measurements. Through analysis and experimentation based on intrinsic Fabry–Perot interferometric (IFPI) sensors, we show that these discontinuities are actually caused by a time-varying interferogram phase term. We identify several physical causes for varying initial phase and derive a threshold value at which it begins to cause errors in the sensor output. Finally, we present a total phase measurement method as an alternative to OPD-based techniques to reduce the occurrence of output signal jumps.

© 2011 USGov

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