Photonic Sensors

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 203–212 | Cite as

High-Speed Mach-Zehnder-OTDR Distributed Optical Fiber Vibration Sensor Using Medium-Coherence Laser

  • Yuheng Tong
  • Zhengying LiEmail author
  • Jiaqi Wang
  • Honghai Wang
  • Haihu Yu
Open Access


This article presents a high-speed distributed vibration sensing based on Mach-Zehnder-OTDR (optical time-domain reflectometry). Ultra-weak fiber Bragg gratings (UWFBG), whose backward light intensity is 2-4 orders of magnitude higher than that of Rayleigh scattering, are used as the reflection markers. A medium-coherence laser can substitute conventional narrow bandwidth source to achieve an excellent performance of distributed vibration sensing since our unbalanced interferometer matches the interval of UWFBGs. The 3 m of spatial resolution of coherent detection and multiple simultaneous vibration sources locating can be realized based on OTDR. The enhanced signal to noise ratio (SNR) enables fast detection of distributed vibration without averaging. The fastest vibration of 25 kHz and the slowest vibration of 10 Hz can be detected with our system successfully, and the linearity is 0.9896 with a maximum deviation of 3.46 nƐ.


High-speed Mach-Zehnder-OTDR ultra-weak fiber Bragg grating array medium-coherence laser optical fiber vibration sensing 



This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61735031), Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province of China (Grant No. 2018CFA056), and the Excellent Dissertation Cultivation Funds of Wuhan University of Technology (Grant No. 2017-YS-057).


  1. [1]
    X. Bao, D. P. Zhou, C. Baker, and L. Chen, “Recent development in the distributed fiber optic acoustic and ultrasonic detection,” Journal of Lightwave Technology, 2017, 35(16): 3256–3267.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    Z. Y. Li, M. Y. Liu, Y. M. Wang, Q. Liu, and J. M. Gong, “Delay calibration method for wavelength-swept laser-based FBG demodulation system,” IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, 2014, 26(20): 2090–2092.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Z. H. Luo, H. Q. Wen, H. Y. Guo, and M. H. Yang, “A time- and wavelength-division multiplexing sensor network with ultra-weak fiber Bragg gratings,” Optics Express, 2913, 21(19): 22799–22807.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Z. Y. Li, Z. Q. Xu, Z. H. Tang, M. Zhao, L. J. Cai, and Q. Liu, “Research of high-speed FBG demodulation system for distributed dynamic monitoring of mechanical equipment,” Advances in Mechanical Engineering, 2013, 7: 679–681.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    X. B. Hong, H. X. Guo, and J. Wu, “A Brillouin optical time domain analysis based distributed fiber optic intrusion sensor system,” Chinese Journal of Lasers, 2010, 37(37): 1037–1041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Y. L. Lu, T. Zhu, L. Chen, and X. Y. Bao, “Distributed vibration sensor based on coherent detection of phase-OTDR,” Journal of Lightwave Technology, 2010, 28(22): 3243–3249.ADSGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    A. Gunday and S. E. Karlik, “Optical fiber distributed sensing of temperature, thermal strain and thermo-mechanical force formations on OPGW cables under wind effects,” in Proceeding of International Conference on Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Bursa, Turkey, 2013: 14–15.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Y. N. Wang and Z. D. Jiang, “Application of Golay codes to distributed optical fiber sensor for long-distance oil pipeline leakage and external damage detection,” Chinese Optics Letters, 2006, 4(3): 141–144.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    C. Y. Ma, T. G. Liu, K. Liu, J. F. Jing, Z. Y. Ding, L. Pan, et al., “Long-range distributed fiber vibration sensor using an asymmetric dual Mach-Zehnder interferometers,” Journal of Lightwave Technology, 2016, 34(9): 2235–2239.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    C. X. Zhang, Q. Li, S. Liang, W. T. Lin, L. J. Li, and X. Zhang, “Location algorithm for multi-disturbances in fiber-optic distributed disturbance sensor using a Mach-Zehnder interferometer,” in Proceeding of the 9th International Conference on Optical Communications and Networks, Nanjing, China, 2010, pp. 103–107.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    J. C. Juarez and H. F. Taylor, “Distributed fiber optic intrusion sensor system,” Journal of Lightwave Technology, 2015, 23(6): 2081–2087.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    Y. Koyamada, M. Imahama, K. Kubota, and K. Hogari, “Fiber-optic distributed strain and temperature sensing with very high measurand resolution over long range using coherent OTDR,” Journal of Lightwave Technology, 2009, 27(9): 1142–1146.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    A. Masoudi, M. Belal, and T. P. Newson, “A distributed optical fiber dynamic strain sensor based on phase-OTDR,” Measurement Science & Technology, 2013, 24(8): 085204.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    T. Zhu, Q. He, X. H. Xiao, and X. Y. Bao, “Modulated pulses based distributed vibration sensing with high frequency response and spatial resolution,” Optics Express, 2013, 21(3): 2953.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    Q. He, T. Zhu, X. H. Xiao, B. M. Zhang, D. M. Diao, and X. Y. Bao, “All fiber distributed vibration sensing using modulated time-difference pulses,” IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, 2013, 25(20): 1955–1957.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [16]
    C. Wang, Y. Shang, X. H. Liu, C. Wang, H. H. Yu, D. S. Jia, et al., “Distributed OTDR-interferometric sensing network with identical ultra-weak fiber Bragg gratings,” Optics Express, 2015, 23(22): 29038–29046.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    C. B. Cameron, R. M. Keolian, and S. L. Garrett, “A symmetric analogue demodulator for optical fiber interferometric sensors,” in Proceeding of IEEE Symposium on Circuits and Systems, Monterey, CA, USA, 1991, pp. 666–671.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Z. F. Wang, H. Luo, and Y. M. Hu, “Signal detection technique for fiber-optic interferometric sensors,” Journal of Applied Optics, 2007, 28(1): 86–91.Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    F. Zhu, Y. X. Zhang, L. Xia, X. L. Wu, and X. P. Zhang, “Improved F-OTDR sensing system for high-precision dynamic strain measurement based on ultra-weak fiber Bragg grating array,” Journal of Lightwave Technology, 2015, 33(23): 4775–4780.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuheng Tong
    • 1
  • Zhengying Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jiaqi Wang
    • 1
  • Honghai Wang
    • 1
  • Haihu Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.National Engineering Laboratory for Fiber Optic Sensing TechnologyWuhan University of TechnologyWuhanChina

Personalised recommendations