Abstract

A fiber Bragg grating (FBG)-coupled ring laser sensor is demonstrated. In the proposed configuration the interrogating source, the sensing head and the readout instrument are integrated in a single fiber-optic device. An FBG inserted within a bidirectional fiber ring couples the two counterpropagating modes of the cavity, generating a splitting of the resonant wavelengths proportional to the FBG reflectivity. When the cavity gain is brought beyond threshold, the two peaks of the split resonances simultaneously lase, leading to a beat note in the emission spectrum whose frequency tracks any small shift of the FBG reflectivity spectrum. Such a beat note can be simply monitored by a frequency counter, without the need for an optical spectrometer, allowing to significantly reduce size and costs of the sensor setup. The sensing performance compares well to the state-of-the-art thermo-mechanical fiber sensors.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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