Abstract

Our purpose is to improve the performance sensitivity of a fiber sensor used as a fiber optic hydrophone probe (FOHP) by the addition of nanoscale thin film gold coating. The fiber is designed to provide a uniform and spatial averaging free response up to 100MHz by etching down to an active diameter of approximately 9μm. The performance sensitivity of straight cleaved (i.e., full size core and cladding) uncoated, tapered uncoated, and tapered thin film gold-coated fiber sensors was compared in the frequency range from 1.5 to 20MHz in the presence of acoustic amplitude pressure levels as high as 6MPa. An unprecedented voltage sensitivity of 245dB relative to 1V/μPa (560mV/MPa) was measured for a thin film gold-coated FOHP by optimizing the gold coating thickness.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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