Quasi-static strain sensing using molecular spectroscopy




Lam, Timothy
Chow, Jong
Shaddock, Daniel
Littler, Ian C M
Gagliardi, Gianluca
Gray, Malcolm B
McClelland, David

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Steady developments in cost and reliability in fiber optic sensors have seen an increase of their deployment in numerous monitoring and detection applications. In high-end applications, greater resolution is required, especially in systems where the environment is quiet, but the signal is weak. In order to meet these requirements the most dominant noise source, laser frequency noise, must be reduced. In this paper we present a quasi-static strain sensing referenced to a molecular frequency reference. A DFB CW diode laser is locked to a fiber Fabry-Perot sensor, transferring the detected signals onto the laser frequency and suppressing laser frequency noise. The laser frequency is then read off using an H13C14N absorption line. Phase modulation spectroscopy is used to both lock the laser to the sensor and read off the signals detected by the sensor. The technique is capable of resolving signals below 1 nanostrain from 20 mHz, reaching a white noise floor of 10 picostrain at several Hz.



Keywords: Absorption lines; Diode lasers; Fiber Fabry-Perot sensor; Frequency reference; Laser frequency; Laser locking; Nanostrain; Noise source; Phase-modulation spectroscopy; Picostrain; Quasi-static; Quasi-static strains; Strain sensing; Fibers; Molecular spect laser locking; quasi-static; Strain sensing



Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


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