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IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2000;47(3):584-90. doi: 10.1109/58.842045.

Sagnac-type fiber-optic array sensor for detection of bulk ultrasonic waves.

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  • 1Center for Quality Eng., Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL, USA.


In this paper, we describe a fiber optic array sensor suitable for detection of bulk ultrasonic waves. This sensor is based on an intrinsic fiber optic Sagnac interferometer. The fiber array is formed by multiple folding of a continuous length of an optical fiber into flat coils. Depending on the orientation of the fiber array with respect to the ultrasonic wave, the proposed sensor can act as a conventional in-phase detector or as a narrowband detector. In the narrowband mode, the center frequency of detection can be tuned by adjusting the spacing of the fiber array elements to be equal to the ultrasonic wavelength of interest. This feature distinguishes this array sensor from conventional hydrophones in which a receiver is typically much smaller than the acoustical wavelength. It is shown that the array sensor provides an enhanced signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) compared with a single element detection scheme. Results are presented for detection of ultrasonic waves in water arising from both piezoelectric and laser ultrasonic sources. Potential areas of application of this sensor include process monitoring, smart structures, bio-medical ultrasound, and chemical sensing.

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