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The optical fibre Sagnac interferometer: an overview of its principles and applications

Culshaw, B. (2005) The optical fibre Sagnac interferometer: an overview of its principles and applications. Measurement Science and Technology, 17 (01). pp. 1-16. ISSN 0957-0233

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Abstract

The optical fibre Sagnac interferometer was first demonstrated over 25 years ago. Immediately its potential for gyroscopic measurements became apparent and since the first demonstration substantial research and development investment has evolved a diversity of rotation measuring instruments. The fibre Sagnac interferometer has, however, also ventured into unexpected domains. The fibre loop mirror has become the ubiquitous reflector. Sagnac-based intruder alarms, hydrophones, geophones and current measuring systems have emerged. The Sagnac interferometer has expanded from the rotation measuring instrument into a very versatile sensing tool. Indeed, it is arguably the most successful of optical fibre sensing technologies. In this paper, we review both the principles and applications of the fibre Sagnac interferometer. The background theory highlights the need to understand the conditions for reciprocity within the interferometer network. The applications range from the expected gyroscopes into novel hydrophone arrays and intruder detection systems. The basic interferometer is now well understood and the engineering required to realize useful and effective instruments has been carefully defined. Its versatility though continues to amaze even the most experienced practitioner and doubtless its applications potential will continue to expand.

Item type: Article
ID code: 4683
Keywords: fibre optic sensors, fibre optic gyroscope, sagnac interferometer, navigation system, Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering, Instrumentation, Applied Mathematics
Subjects: Technology > Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Department: Faculty of Engineering > Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Related URLs:
    Depositing user: Strathprints Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2007
    Last modified: 04 Sep 2014 16:25
    URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/4683

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