Abstract

A distributed sensor system for detecting and locating intruders based on a phase-sensitive optical time-domain reflectometer (ϕ-OTDR) that utilizes polarization discrimination is described. The sensing element is a single-mode telecommunications fiber in a 3 mm diameter cable buried along a monitored perimeter in a 20–46 cm deep, 10 cm wide trench in clay soil. Light pulses from a continuous-wave Er fiber Fabry–Perot laser with a narrow (<3kHz) instantaneous linewidth and low (a few Kilohertz per second) frequency drift are injected into one end of the fiber, and the orthogonal polarizations of the backscattered light are monitored with separate receivers. Localized phase changes in the optical carrier are sensed by subtraction of a ϕ-OTDR trace from an earlier stored trace. In field tests with a monitored length of 12 km, detection of intruders on foot as far as 4.5 m from the cable line was consistently achieved.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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