Chirped fiber Brillouin frequency-domain distributed sensing

Peter D. Dragic, Anthony Mangognia, John Ballato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A frequency-domain distributed temperature/strain sensor based on a longitudinally graded optical fiber (LGF) is proposed and evaluated. In an LGF, the Brillouin scattering frequency, .B, changes (i.e., is chirped) lengthwise monotonically and thus every position along the fiber has a unique .B. Any change locally (at some position) in the fiber environment will result in a measurable change in the shape of the Brillouin gain spectrum (BGS) near the frequency component mapped to that position. This is demonstrated via measurements and modeling for an LGF with local heating. The LGF is one with ~100 MHz Brillouin frequency gradient over 16.7 m, with 1.1 and 1.7 m segments heated up to 40 K above ambient. A measurement of the BGS can enable the determination of a thermal (or strain) distribution along a sensor fiber, thus rendering the system one that is in the frequency domain. A sensitivity analysis is also presented for both coherent and pump-probe BGS measurement schemes. The modeling results suggest that the frequency-domain systems based on fibers with a chirped Brillouin frequency are highly suited as inexpensive event sensors (alarms) and have the potential to reach submeter position determination with sub-1-K temperature accuracies at 1 kHz sampling rates. Limitations to the technique are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056117
JournalOptical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Brillouin scattering
  • distributed sensing
  • frequency domain
  • optical fiber sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering(all)

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