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Optical fibre sensors based on the dynamic response of fibre lasers

Stewart, G. and Karthik, V. and Whitenett, G.L. (2005) Optical fibre sensors based on the dynamic response of fibre lasers. In: 17th International Conference on Optical Fibre Sensors, 2005-05-23 - 2005-05-27.

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We propose a optical fibre sensor system based on performing measurements during the transient period of operation of fibre lasers which may have potential for realising several types of sensor. Detailed experimental and theoretical study of the dynamics of a erbium fibre ring laser have been carried out, with simulation of the full transient period in order to characterise its operation. The results reveal how certain features of the dynamic response may be analytically related to the cavity parameters but also indicate the important role of spontaneous emission in determining the exact details of the response due to the involvement of a large number of cavity modes during the relaxation period. The principles may be applied for sensing by use of an intra-cavity sensor element which modifies the cavity properties in response to the measurand and by analysis of the cavity output in both time and spectral domains.