Abstract

A novel photon-counting optical time-domain reflectometry (<i>ν</i>-OTDR) based on superconducting nanowire single- photon detector (SNSPD) is proposed and demonstrated experimentally. Benefiting from the low noise equivalent power (NEP), high repetition rate and low timing jitter of the SNSPD, our <i>ν</i>-OTDR system achieves a dynamic range of 22 dB after measurement time of 15 minutes. This obtainable dynamic range corresponds to a sensing length of 110 km. The system exhibits 6.0 cm spatial resolution at the end of 2 km and 1.1 m spatial resolution at the end of 26 km standard single-mode fiber. Considering the performance we obtained now and the increasing improvement of the fabrication technology, the SNSPD is promising in the field of fiber sensors.

© 2012 IEEE

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