Abstract

A two-loop-based low-coherence multiplexing fiber-optic sensor network is proposed and demonstrated. It greatly extends the multiplexing capacity of this kind of sensor. A practical implementation of this scheme uses a popular amplified spontaneous emission light source and standard single-mode fiber, which are commonly used in the communications industry. The sensor's two-loop topology is completely passive. Absolute length measurements can be obtained for each sensing fiber segment for use in measuring the quasi-distribution strain or temperature. For large-scale smart structures this technique not only extends the multiplexing potential but also provides a redundancy for the sensing system. This means that the two-loop sensor network can break down at several points and the sensing system will still work even if some of the embedded two-loop sensors have been destroyed. The robustness of the nine-sensor two-loop sensing network is investigated and discussed.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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