Abstract

Phase-sensitive optical time-domain reflectometry (Φ-OTDR) has been widely used in various applications for its distributed measurement capability of dynamic disturbance along the entire length of sensing fiber. However, traditional Φ-OTDR cannot make high-precision measurement on the external disturbance-induced strain due to the randomly distributed position and reflectivity of scattering points within the optical fiber. In this paper, ultra-weak fiber Bragg grating (UWFBG) array has been proposed to generate strong and controllable reflections while providing acceptable insertion loss. Active laser frequency sweeping and unwrapping algorithms were included to set up a definite relationship between strain value and variation of interference power between neighboring reflection lights. With the assistant of UWFBG array, the capability of Φ-OTDR has been upgraded to be able to take high-precision measurement on strain. In the experiment, multipoint με level dynamic strain variation has been fully captured at the end of a 5-km long sensing fiber with 2 m spatial resolution. The measured strain value was compared to the calibrated one obtained with Mach–Zehnder Interferometer method. These two values fit with each other quite well with a maximum deviation of 6.2 nε, which confirmed the validity and accuracy of the proposed method.

© 2015 IEEE

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