The effect of Brillouin slow light on distributed Brillouin fiber sensors (DBFSs) is studied. We demonstrate Brillouin slow light for a pulse with peak powers from 3.3 to on depletion of the pump power ranging from 1.3 to in conventional optical fibers (SMF-28). Experiments show that, when pump power depletion is not negligible, for a given the Brillouin gain and delay time of a pulse decrease when increases in a long sensing fiber. The optimum pump beam depletion resulting from strong interaction of the pump and the probe in the fiber provides accurate temperature and strain information at a high spatial resolution. Our study reveals that at low the spatial resolution error caused by the pulse delay for a DBFS with centimeter spatial resolution is less than 5% of the pulse length.
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