Scientific Results

Probing the Ultimate Limit of Fiber-optic Strain Sensing

Year: 2010

Authors: Gagliardi G., Salza M., Avino S., Ferraro P., De Natale P.

Autors Affiliation: Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche – Istituto Nazionale DiOttica (INO), European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy (LENS), Comprensorio A. Olivetti, Via Campi Flegrei 34, I-80078 Pozzuoli (Naples), Italy; Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche, INO, LENS, Largo E. Fermi 6, I-50125 Firenze, Italy

Abstract: The measurement of relative displacements and deformations is important in many fields such as structural engineering, aerospace, geophysics, and nanotechnology. Optical-fiber sensors have become key tools for strain measurements, with sensitivity limits ranging between 10(-9) and 10(-6)epsilon hertz (Hz)(-1/2) (where epsilon is the fractional length change). We report on strain measurements at the 10(-13)epsilon-Hz(-1/2) level using a fiber Bragg-grating resonator with a diode-laser source that is stabilized against a quartz-disciplined optical frequency comb, thus approaching detection limits set by thermodynamic phase fluctuations in the fiber. This scheme may provide a route to a new generation of strain sensors that is entirely based on fiber-optic systems, which are aimed at measuring fundamental physical quantities; for example, in gyroscopes, accelerometers, and gravity experiments.

Journal/Review: SCIENCE

Volume: 330 (6007)      Pages from: 1081  to: 1084

More Information: We thank M. Prevedelli, A. Arie, M. De Rosa, and J. H. Chow for helpful discussions. Technical assistance on the electronic setup was provided by R. Abbate, who passed away in September 2008. We thank Avanex Corp. (San Donato, Milan, Italy) for kindly providing part of the equipment. This experiment was partly funded by Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.
KeyWords: Deformation mechanism; Displacement; Frequency analysis; Geophysics; Measurement method; Quartz; Sensitivity analysis; Thermodynamics, article; Fiber optics; Optical biosensor; Piezoelectricity; Priority journal; Strain gauge transducer; Thermodynamics
DOI: 10.1126/science.1195818

Citations: 111
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English