Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Twin-Grating Fiber Optic Sensors Applied on Wavelength- Division Multiplexing and Its Numerical Resolution

By José Trinidad Guillen Bonilla, Héctor Guillen Bonilla, Antonio Casillas Zamora, Gustavo Adolfo Vega Gómez, Nancy Elizabeth Franco Rodríguez, Alex Guillen Bonilla and Juan Reyes Gómez

Submitted: August 19th 2017Reviewed: February 17th 2018Published: April 11th 2018

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.75586

Downloaded: 221

Abstract

In this work, the twin-grating fiber optic sensor has been applied on wavelength-division multiplexing. A quasi-distributed sensor formed by three local twin-grating sensors, is numerically simulated. The wavelength channels were 1531.5, 1535.5, and 1539.5 nm. The numerical simulation shows the resolution vs. signal-to-noise rate. Three local twin-grating sensors have approximately the same resolution because all local sensors have the same cavity length and the wavelength channels are very close. All local sensors have two numerical resolutions because the Fourier domain phase analysis algorithm makes two evaluations of the Bragg wavelength shift. The transition between both resolutions can be calculated with the parameters: cavity length, Bragg wavelength channel, refraction index, and enveloped resolution. This transition depends on the noise system, demodulation algorithm, instrumentation, and local sensor properties. A very important point is, a theoretical analysis will permit to know the exact resolution for each local twin-grating sensor.

Keywords

  • twin-grating fiber optic sensor
  • wavelength-division multiplexing
  • numerical resolution
  • quasi-distributed sensor
  • numerical simulation

1. Introduction

Optic fiber sensors (OFSs) exhibit small dimensions; they are light weight and made of a dielectric material, vitreous silica. Some measurable parameters are temperature, strain, humidity, pressure, salinity, current, voltage, and concentration. Fiber sensors have as good resolution and accuracy as electronic and mechanical sensors. For this reason, OFSs are very active worldwide. An optic fiber sensor can be extrinsic or intrinsic. In an extrinsic sensor, the fiber acts as a means of getting the light to the sensing localization. In an intrinsic sensor, perturbations act on the fiber and the fiber in turn changes some characteristics of the light inside the fiber [1]. Both sensors types find potential industrial applications. On the other hand, a fiber sensor can also be spatially classified as a distributed sensor, a quasi-distributed sensor, or a point sensor. A distributed sensor is sensitive along its entire length. A quasi-distributed fiber optic sensor is not sensitive along its entire length, but is locally sensitized at various points. A point sensor is sensitive at a specific point along its entire length. In particular, a quasi-distributed sensor uses multiplexing techniques and their combinations. Two fundamental techniques are wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) and frequency-division multiplexing (FDM). In Ref. [2], Grattan and Sun described the WDM technique:

  • The WDM technique received little attention due to the initial high cost of components such as wavelength selective couplers and filters. However, the widespread use of Bragg grating systems has opened up a range of possibilities for the use of wavelength-division multiplexing. Figure 1a illustrates a scheme of a quasi-distributed sensor based on the Bragg gratings; its configuration is serial and each Bragg grating has its own Bragg wavelength.

Figure 1.

A scheme of a quasi-distributed fiber optic sensor: (a) Bragg gratings and (b) twin-grating interferometers [3].

The frequency-division multiplexing scheme [3] is illustrated in Figure 1b for a quasi-distributed sensor based on the twin-grating fiber optic sensor. Each twin-grating sensor [4, 5] consists of two identical Bragg gratings and acts as a local sensor. In this configuration, there are m-twin-grating sensors in serial connection. Each interferometer has its own cavity length. However, all Bragg gratings have the same Bragg wavelength to eliminate wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM). The cross-talk noise is eliminated because all Bragg grating had low reflectivity, r<1%[5]. In this sensor, the reflection spectrum is the superposition of all frequency components which are produced by all local interferometers. The detection method is known as direct spectrometric detection technique.

Nowadays, the quasi-distributed sensor finds potential application in civil engineering (strain and temperature measurements), industrial process (temperature, strain, level, and pressure measurements), military application (vibration detection), sport science (vibration and strain), and aircraft (strain, vibration, and pressure measurements) [6, 7, 8, 9]. This sensor type reduces the cost by sensing point. In this work, a quasi-distributed sensor based on wavelength-division multiplexing and twin-grating sensor is discussed and simulated. The results show the numerical resolution in terms of Bragg wavelength shift. The results demonstrate that twin-grating sensors´ resolution is high and the resolution depends on the cavity length.

2. A quasi-distributed fiber optic sensor

Figure 2 illustrates the optical system under study. The optic system consists of a quasi-distributed fiber optic sensor which is based on wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) and twin-grating sensors. The sensing system has five fundamental components: an optical broadband source, an optical circulator 50/50, an optical spectrometer analyzer (OSA spectrometer), a personal computer, and a quasi-distributed sensor. In particular, the quasi-distributed sensor consists of a serial array of twin-grating sensors. Each twin-grating sensor acts as a low-finesse Fabry-Perot interferometer [3, 10]. All interferometers have the same cavity length LFPbut each twin-grating sensor has its own Bragg wavelength. Thus, the WDM technique is generated and the FDM technique is eliminated. All Bragg gratings have the same length LBGand a typical reflectivity of 1%. The low reflectivity eliminates cross-talk noise.

Figure 2.

A quasi-distributed sensor based on the WDM technique and twin-grating sensors.

2.1. Optical signal

In the sensing system presented in Figure 2, the signal from each local sensor is returned by reflection from each twin-grating sensor, where each twin-grating interferometer has its own wavelength. The signal returned to the detector is monitored with the OSA spectrometer; the intensity at each wavelength corresponds to the measurement each local sensor. When the quasi-distributed sensor does not have external perturbations and interference patterns have small variation, the optical signal will be

RTλ=k=1K2akπn1LBGλBGk2sinc22n1LBGλλBGkλBGk21+cos4πnLFPλλBGkλBGk2E1

The signal parameters are: RTλis a set of interference patterns, λis the wavelength, λBGkis the kth Bragg wavelength, akare amplitude factors,n1is the amplitude of the effective refractive index modulation of the gratings, LBGis the length of gratings, nis the effective index of the core, LFPis the cavity length, and kis the number of twin-grating sensors. The optical signal has the next characteristics: the enveloped function is a sinc one and its width ΔBGkis defined as the spectral distance between its +1 and –1 zeros,

ΔBG1ΔBG2ΔBG3ΔBGk=λBGk2n1LBGΔBGKE2

Each interference pattern has its own central Bragg wavelength and the next condition is true

λBG1λBG2λBGkλBGKE3

Interference patterns have approximately the same frequency,

νFP1νFP2νFPk=2nLFPλBGk2νFPKE4

From Eqs. (1) and (4), the cavity length defines the frequency of all interference patterns. Its size can be found in the interval of [3]

LFPminLFPLFPmax2LBGLFPλBG124nΔλE5

where Δλis the spectrometer resolution, LFPmin=2LBGis the minimum cavity length, and LFPmax=λBG124nΔλis the maximum cavity length. The minimum cavity length is delimited because the Fourier domain phase analysis (FDPA) algorithm does not accept additional information or loss of information. The maximum cavity length is delimited because the OSA spectrometer has a limit of full-width half-maximum (FWHM). Figure 3 illustrates the optical spectrum.

Figure 3.

Optical signal detected by the optical analyzer spectrometer.

To know the frequency spectrum Rν, the Fourier transform is applied to Eq. (1),

RTν=RTλei2πλνE6

Substituting Eq. (1) into Eq. (6), the spectra RTνis

Rν=k=1K2akπn1LBGλBGk2sinc22n1LBGλλBGkλBGk21+cos4πnLFPλλBGkλBGk2eiωtdtE7

Solving the transformation, the frequency spectrum is defined by

RTν=k=KKRkν=k=KKcktriννFPkνBGkE8

This frequency spectrum is the superposition of a set of triangle functions, where a triangle function is defined as trix=1xx10otherwise, Rkνis the Fourier transform of the k-th interference pattern, ckare amplitude factors, νFPkis the center position of each peak and νBGkis the bandwidth of each peak.

νBGk=4n1LBGλBGk2E9

In the frequency spectrum, the component νFP0contains information from all twin-grating sensors, the positive components νFP1,,νFPK; the negative components νFP1,,νFPKcontain the same information. The minimum bandwidth νBGminis

νBGmin=4n1LBGλBGK2E10

and the maximum bandwidth νBGmaxis

νBGmax=4n1LBGλBG12E11

Figure 4 shows the frequency spectrum Rν. Based on Figure 4, all twin-grating interferometers produce approximately the same frequency components. This is possible because all interferometers have the same cavity length and all enveloped functions are approximately similar.

Figure 4.

Frequency spectrum determined from the optical signal.

2.2. Optical signal produced by external perturbation

When the quasi-distributed sensor has external perturbations due to the temperature or strain, Bragg gratings and cavity length have an elongation. In turn, interference patterns have a small shift in response to a measured variation. The optical signal detected by the OSA spectrometer is

RTλδλ=k=1K2akπn1LBGλBGk2sinc22n1LBGλλBGkδλkλBGk21+cos4πnLFPλλBGkδλkλBGk2E12

It can also be expressed as

RTλδλ=k=1KRkλδλk=R1λδλ1++Rkλδλk++RKλδλKE13

where RTλδλis the optical signal due to external perturbations and δλkis the Bragg wavelength shift due to measured change [11, 12]. Its frequency spectrum RTνδλis

RTνδλ=RTλδλei2πλνE14

Substituting Eq. (13) into Eq. (14), the spectra is now

RTνδλ=k=KKRkλδλkei2πλνE15

Using the Fourier transform properties and solving, the frequency spectra RTνδλtakes the form

RTνδλ=k=KKei2πνδλkRkνE16

RTνδλis the multiplication between Rνand a set of phases. Each phase contains information of each twin-grating sensor and then the FDPA algorithm can be applied in the demodulation signal.

3. Number of samples

In Ref. [11] the twin-grating sensor was applied for the temperature measurement. The wavelength shift sensitivity to a temperature change was estimated to be 0.00985 nm/oC. The demodulation signal was done using the Fourier domain phase analysis algorithm. The optical signal was acquired applying direct spectrometric detection. This detection technique uses an optical spectrometer analyzer; then, the acquired optical signal becomes discrete. The signal samples RTλjare taken as wavelengths λj=λmin+jδλs,where j=0,1,,N1, Nis the number of samples. The interval working is λw=λmaxλmin: λmaxis the maximum wavelength, λminis the minimum wavelength and δλsis the wavelength step.

From Figure 4, the maximum frequency νmaxis

νmax=νFPK+12νBGmaxE17

Substituting Eqs. (4)(11) into Eq. (17), the maximum frequency is

νmax=2nLFPmaxλBG12+2n1LBGλBG12E18

When we substitute the maximum cavity length (Eq. (5)) into Eq. (18), the parameter νmaxtakes the form

νmax=12Δλ+2n1LBGλBG12E19

Applying the sampling theorem, the sampling frequency νsis

νs2νmax=1Δλ+4n1LBGλBG12E20

Since νs=1δλs, we have

δλsΔλλBG12λBG12+4n1LBGΔλE21

Finally, the number of samples Nis given by

N=λwδλs=λwλBG12+4n1LBGΔλΔλλBG12E22

Samples Ndepend on twin-grating sensor properties, the spectrometer resolution, and the interval working. The number of samples is a very important parameter for the twin-grating sensor demodulation because it affects the sensor’s resolution.

4. Capacity of wavelength-division multiplexing

In Refs. [4, 5] two experimental sensing systems where twin-grating fiber optic sensors were applied on wavelength-division multiplexing were reported. The first optical system consisted of two wavelength channels. Both channels were centered around 815 and 839 nm. The second optical system consisted of three wavelength channels. The channels were around 1542, 1548, and 1554 nm. Therefore, based on the Bragg grating characteristics, the twin-grating interferometer can be applied in wavelength-division multiplexing if and only if each interferometer sensor has its own Bragg wavelength: λBGk=2n1Λk, where Λkis the period [1]. In this case, each interference pattern has its own bandwidth in the wavelength domain. The patterns are in the interval of λminuntil λmax(interval working λw); it is not possible in other positions, see Figure 5.

Figure 5.

λw,λmin,λmax,andΔλop representation.

Let us introduce the operation range Δλop; the operation range defines the interval in which an interference pattern can move into the wavelength domain. Each interferometer sensor has its own operation range and overlapping is not acceptable. To calculate the capacity of wavelength-division multiplexing K, we use the interval working λwand the operation range Δλop

K=λwΔλop=λmaxλminΔλopE23

Kis the number of local sensors and wavelength channels. λw, λmin, λmax,and Δλopparameters can be observed in Figure 3.

To illustrate, the next numerical example is presented.

Example 1: A broadband light source has the interval from λmin=1470nmto λmax=1620nm. If the operation range is selected to Δλop=6nm, the number of local sensors is K=162014706=25. The quasi-distributed sensor would have 25 twin-grating sensors and the signal will have 25 wavelength channels. Here, two important points can be mentioned: 1) The parameter Δλoppermits the selection of the number of local sensors; 2) the cost per sensing point can be reduced combining the wavelength-and-frequency division multiplexing.

5. Demodulation signal

In this section, we present the demodulation signal for the quasi-distributed sensor based on wavelength-division multiplexing. The signal processing combines the Fourier domain phase analysis (FDPA) algorithm, a bank of K filters and a band-pass filter. The FDPA algorithm was described and also applied in Refs. [3, 11]. The bank of K filters can be defined as

Fλ=rectλΔλopk=1KδλλBGkE24

where the symbol indicates the convolution operation, the rect function (Eq. (24)) is defined as

rectλ=1λ<Δλop20λ>Δλop2E25

and δis the Dirac delta. Invoking the Dirac delta properties, the bank of K filters is

Fλ=k=1KrectλλBGkΔλopE26

The signal Fλis a series of rect functions in the wavelength domain; its bandwidth is the operation range and the central positions are the Bragg wavelengths. On the other hand, Rkνis the Fourier transform for the kth interference pattern. The spectrum Rkνconsists of three triangle functions. The component νFP0contains information from all twin-grating sensors and this signal cannot be used in the demodulation signal. The νFPkand νFPkcomponents contain the same information and any component can be used in the demodulation signal. Then, the band-pass filter can be defined as

Fν=rectννFPkνBGkE27

where the rect function (Eq. (27)) has the next definition

rectν=1ν<νBGk20ν>νBGk2E28

The filter Fνis a rect function in the frequency domain: its bandwidth is νBGkand its central position is νFPk.

Basically, the digital demodulation consists of two stages: calibration and measurement. The calibration stage is developed once; five steps are necessary and the references are generated. The calibration considers the signal acquisition RTλ, filtering signal Rkλ, separation of frequency components Rkν, filtering Rmλ,and its complex conjugate Rmλ,where the symbol * indicates the complex conjugate. The measurement stage is developed for each measurement and eight steps are necessary. The measurement stage considers the signal acquisition RTλδλ, filtering Rkλδλ, separation of frequency components RTνδλ, filtering Rmνδλ, comparison between spectrums Rmλand Rmνδλ, 2πPambiguity elimination; Bragg wavelength shift evaluation and an adaptive filter is applied. The adaptive filter is a set of coefficients as was described in Ref. [13]. The complete procedure is shown at Figure 6.

Figure 6.

Digital demodulation represented schematically: Rm∗=Rm∗λ,R˜m=R˜mνδλ and the symbol * indicates the complex conjugate.

6. Numerical simulation and discussion

6.1. Parameters and results

In Ref. [3], the twin-grating fiber optic sensor was applied on frequency-division multiplexing. The numerical results confirmed that the twin-grating sensor has a high resolution and the resolution is a function of cavity length. In the numerical simulation, the number of samples was N = 1024, the noise was in the interval SNR=100to SNR=104. The quasi-distributed sensor parameters and optical signal parameters can be observed in Table 1.

Sensor numberSensor parametersSignal values
Twin-grating sensor 1 (S1)LFP1 = 4 (mm)ΔλBG=3.22(nm)
νFP1=4.95(ciclos/nm)
νBG=1.23(ciclos/nm)
LBG = 0.5 (mm)
n = 1.46
λBG=1532.5(nm)
Twin-grating sensor 2 (S2)LFP2 = 8 (mm)ΔλBG=3.22(nm)
νFP2=9.91(ciclos/nm)
νBG=1.23(ciclos/nm)
LBG = 0.5 (mm)
n = 1.46
λBG=1532.5(nm)
Twin-grating sensor 3 (S3)LFP3 = 16 (mm)ΔλBG=3.22(nm)
νFP3=19.82(ciclos/nm)
νBG=1.23(ciclos/nm)
LBG = 0.5 (mm)
n = 1.46
λBG=1532.5(nm)

Table 1.

Sensor parameters and signal parameters used in the frequency-division multiplexing [3].

Being aware of that, our goal is to apply the twin-grating interferometer to wavelength-division multiplexing, a quasi-distributed fiber optic sensor is numerically simulated as was done in Ref. [3]. The quasi-distributed sensor consists of three twin-grating sensors. The physical parameters are shown in Table 2. In our numerical simulation, we use some parameters from Ref. [3]: LFP1 = LFP2 = LFP3 = LFP4 = 4 (mm), LBG = 0.5 (mm), n = 1.46, N = 1024; the Bragg gratings have rectangular profile; the noise has Gaussian distribution and its value is in the interval SNR=100to SNR=104. The same values are possible because our goal is to prove the wavelength-division multiplexing. The measurements are in the intervals S1–0.3 to 0.3 nm, S2–0.5 to 0.5 nm and S3–1 to 1 nm. The signal parameters are shown in Table 2 while Figure 5 shows our numerical results: Demodulation errors vs. SNR1/2. A Laptop Toshiba 45C was used with a 512 Mb RAM and a velocity of 1.7 GHz.

Sensor numberSensor parametersSignal values
Fabry-Perot sensor 1 (S1)LFP1 = 4 (mm)νFP1=4.979(cycles/nm) (Eq. (2))
ΔλBG1=3.213(nm) (Eq. (3))
νBG1=1.244 (cycles/nm) (Eq. (9))
LBG = 0.5 (mm)
n = 1.46
λBG1=1531.5(nm)
Fabry-Perot sensor 2 (S2)LFP2 = 4 (mm)νFP2=4.953(cycles/nm) (Eq. (2))
ΔλBG2=3.229(nm) (Eq. (3))
νBG2=1.238(cycles/nm) (Eq. (9))
LBG = 0.5 (mm)
n = 1.46
λBG2=1535.5(nm)
Fabry-Perot sensor 3 (S3)LFP3 = 4 (mm)νFP3=4.928(ciclos/nm) (Eq. (2))
ΔλBG3=3.246(nm) (Eq. (3))
νBG3=1.232 (cycles/nm) (Eq. (9))
LBG = 0.5 (mm)
n = 1.46
λBG3=1539.5(nm)

Table 2.

Quasi-distributed sensor parameters used and signal values obtained.

Analyzing Tables 1 and 2, the sensing system presented in Figure 3 is based on wavelength-division multiplexing where their wavelength-channels are 1531.5, 1535.5, and 1539.5 nm. The frequency-division multiplexing was eliminated since the frequency components are νFP1=4.979(cycles/nm), νFP2=4.953 (cycles/nm), and νFP3=4.928(cycles/nm). All interference patterns have approximately the same bandwidth: ΔλBG1=3.213(nm), ΔλBG2=3.229(nm), and ΔλBG3=3.246 (nm). Finally, the triangle functions have approximately the same bandwidth: νBG1=1.244 (cycles/nm), νBG2=1.238(cycles/nm) and νBG3=1.232 (cycles/nm). Thus, we prove that the quasi-distributed sensor applies the wavelength-division multiplexing and the FDM technique was eliminated.

Figure 7 Shows the behavior of demodulation error vs. signal-to-noise rate SNR1/2, if demodulation error is denominated as the resolution. These results confirm good resolution for the twin-grating sensors. Since the FDPA algorithm makes two evaluations of the Bragg wavelength shift [3, 7], the twin-grating sensors have two resolutions: Low resolution σenvand high resolution σint. the threshold [3].

σenv<λBGk212nLFPE29

specifies the boundary between low resolution and high resolution. Using Eq. (29) and Table 2, the thresholds are approximately S1 → σenv<0.0335nm,S2σenv<0.0336nm,and S3σenv<0.0338nm. For each local twin-grating sensor, an SNR1/2 threshold is observable:

Figure 7.

Numerical results obtained from the numerical experiments.

S11531.5nmSNR12101.15,S21355.5nmSNR12101.19,S31539.5nmSNR1/2101.2. The threshold values are very close because the twin-grating sensors have similar cavity length and the enveloped functions have approximately the same bandwidth ΔλBGk.

6.2. Discussion

The quasi-distributed fiber optic sensor (Figure 3) would be built on wavelength-division multiplexing and twin-grating interferometers. Our results optimize the sensor’s implementation and also permit its design. Local sensor properties, light source characteristics, noise (Gaussian distribution), signal processing and detection technique are considered in our numerical simulation. Our experimental results (Figure 7) corroborate well functionally. Two resolutions are also confirmed σBGfor each local sensor: low resolution σenvand high resolution σint. Both resolutions depend on noise system, cavity length, instrumentation, sensor properties, and the digital demodulation algorithm.

A twin-grating fiber optic sensor and an optical fiber sensor based on a single Bragg grating will have the same resolution if and only if FDPA algorithm cannot eliminate the 2πPambiguity. In this case, the twin-grating sensor has only low resolution because the FDPA algorithm evaluates the Bragg wavelength shift with the enveloped function [11]. However, if the optical sensing system has small noise, then the twin-grating sensor has high resolution, since the Bragg wavelength shift was evaluated combining the enveloped and modulated functions [3, 11]. Additionally, three twin-grating sensors have approximately the same resolution because three wavelength channels are very close and all interferometer sensors have the same cavity length. In conclusion, the sensor´s resolution is high while the FDPA algorithm can acceptably demodulate the optical signal.

The presented study optimizes the quasi-distributed sensor which was shown in Figure 3. Combining our study (this work) and the analysis presented in Ref. [3], the experimental sensing system described by Shlyagin et al. [4, 5] can be optimized. The optimization will be on signal processing, local sensor properties, sensitivity, resolution and instrumentation parameters. Additionally, the cost per sensing point is considerably reduced.

Our future work has the following direction: a theoretical analysis and practical application. In the theoretical analysis, frequency-and-wavelength division multiplexing can be implemented based on the twin-grating interferometer; resolution is another direction. In the practical applications, the quasi-distributed sensor can be applied for temperature monitoring, gasoline detection (security), strain measurement, and level liquid measurement. Our analysis makes an excellent contribution to quasi-distributed sensor implementation because all local sensors will have high resolution (see Figure 7), high sensibility, low cost by sensing point, and the quasi-distributed sensor can be designed without other requirements.

7. Conclusion

In this work, a quasi-distributed fiber optic sensor was numerically simulated. The sensor was based on twin-grating sensors and wavelength-division multiplexing. The numerical results show the resolution for each local twin-grating sensor. Local sensors have approximately the same resolution because all twin-grating sensors have the same cavity length and the wavelength channels are close. Two resolutions were obtained for each local sensor. Our numerical results show that the quasi-distributed sensor has potential industrial application: temperature measurement, strain measurement, pressure measurement, humidity monitoring, and security system.

Acknowledgments

Authors thank PRODEP 2017 No. F-PROMEP-39/Rev-04 SEP-23-005 (number DSA/103.5/16/10313), PRODEP 2017 Project No. 236110 of found 1.1.9.25 (Agreement RG/003/2017) and PRODEP 2017 Project No 238635 (511-6/17-8091).

© 2018 The Author(s). Licensee IntechOpen. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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José Trinidad Guillen Bonilla, Héctor Guillen Bonilla, Antonio Casillas Zamora, Gustavo Adolfo Vega Gómez, Nancy Elizabeth Franco Rodríguez, Alex Guillen Bonilla and Juan Reyes Gómez (April 11th 2018). Twin-Grating Fiber Optic Sensors Applied on Wavelength- Division Multiplexing and Its Numerical Resolution, Numerical Simulations in Engineering and Science, Srinivas P. Rao, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.75586. Available from:

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