Fiber Mach-Zehnder Interferometer system using polymer optical Bragg grating for underwater applications


In the subsea environment, the monitoring of acoustic signals and vibration is crucial for different applications such as in geophysical surveying and security, e.g. the detection of unwanted craft or personnel. Current technology is predominantly based on piezoelectric (PZT) strain sensors but they suffer from some limitations. To solve these problems, fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors are considered as potential alternatives for conventional PZT hydrophones. In this paper, we present our recent experimental studies on FBG based acoustic sensing using polymer optical fiber (POF) in a comparison with the response of silica fiber. Fiber Mach-Zehnder interferometers (MZI) are widely used for FBG sensor interrogation purpose due to their advantages in terms of high resolution, wide bandwidth, and tunable sensitivity. They are appropriate for dynamic strain measurement applications in the areas of vibration analysis, hydrophones, and acoustic emission studies. The interferometer converts the Bragg wavelength shift of an FBG sensor into a corresponding phase shift in an electrical carrier, which can be demodulated using conventional techniques. In this paper, an interferometric scheme for monitoring low-frequency (few kHz) waves using silica and polymer FBGs is investigated. A heterodyne technique based on an unbalanced interferometric wavelength discriminator is described and the performance of both types of fiber containing FBGs is compared. A considerable sensitivity improvement is achieved using polymer FBG (around 6 times better), and we could explain that considering the lower Young’s modulus of POF. Essentially, and despite the strain sensitivity of silica and POFBGs being very similar, this renders the POF much more sensitive to the applied stress resulting from acoustic signals. Results give noise-limited pressure resolutions of 3.68×10-6 and 1.33 × 10−4 Pa for silica and POF, respectively, each within a 100 Hz bandwidth.

Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Photonics Technology (AIPT)
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Event Title: 25th International Conference on Plastic Optical Fibres, POF 2016
Event Type: Other
Event Dates: 2016-09-13 - 2016-09-15
Uncontrolled Keywords: Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials,Polymers and Plastics,Materials Chemistry
ISBN: 978-1-85449-408-5
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2024 07:52
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2017 11:20
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Conference contribution
Published Date: 2016-12-01
Accepted Date: 2016-09-01
Authors: Marques, Carlos A.F.



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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