Optical Path Length Multiplexing of Optical Fiber Sensors
Wavering, Thomas A. II
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Optical fiber sensor multiplexing reduces cost per sensor by designing a system that minimizes the expensive system components (sources, spectrometers, etc.) needed for a set number of sensors. The market for multiplexed optical sensors is growing as fiber-optic sensors are finding application in automated factories, mines, offshore platforms, air, sea, land, and space vehicles, energy distribution systems, medical patient surveillance systems, etc. Optical path length multiplexing (OPLM) is a modification to traditional white-light interferometry techniques to multiplex extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometers and optical path length two-mode sensors. Additionally, OPLM techniques can be used to design an optical fiber sensor to detect pressure/force/acceleration and temperature simultaneously at a single point. While power losses and operating range restrictions limit the broadscale applicability of OPLM, it provides a way to easily double or quadruple the number of sensors by modifying the demodulation algorithm. The exciting aspect of OPLM is that no additional hardware is needed to multiplex a few sensors. In this way OPLM works with conventional technology and algorithms to drastically increase their efficiency.
- Masters Theses