Optical fibers are extensively used in modern technology such as sensing, short-distance and long-distance telecommunications. This motivated many researchers to present different methods in order to characterize optical fibers and determine their refractive index profiles. In addition, variation of refractive index profiles of optical fibers suffering mechanical stresses or other external effects reflects good information about the internal structure of these fibers and how they are responding to these external effects. Optical interferometry and digital holography methods are accurate and effective tools used to achieve this task. In this chapter, we illustrate the application of different types of optical interference on conventional, polarizing maintaining and thick optical fibers. Also, we illustrate some mathematical interpretations (and recently automatic analyzing of interference patterns) that have been used to reconstruct the accurate refractive index profiles of optical fibers. Some experimental interferograms and refractive index profiles are demonstrated as well.
Part of the book: Optical Fiber Applications