Abstract

Distributed fiber optic sensing (DFOS) is a rapidly evolving field that allows the existing optical fiber infrastructure for telecommunications to be reused for wide-area sensing. Using the backscattering mechanisms of glass—which includes Rayleigh, Brillouin, and Raman backscatter—it is possible to realize distributed vibration and temperature sensors with good sensitivity at every fiber position, and spatial resolution is determined by the bandwidth of the interrogation signal. In this paper, we will review the main technologies in currently deployed DFOS. We review the digital signal processing operations that are performed to extract the sensing parameters of interest. We report recent distributed vibration sensing, distributed acoustic sensing, and distributed temperature sensing field trial results over an existing network with reconfigurable add/drop multiplexers carrying live telecom traffic, showing that the network is capable of simultaneous traffic and temperature monitoring. We report Brillouin optical time-domain reflectometry experimental results for monitoring static strain on aerial fiber cables suspended on utility poles. Finally, we demonstrate an example of network modification to make passive optical networks compatible with DFOS by adding reflective semiconductor optical amplifiers at optical network units.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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