High-Performance Distributed Brillouin Optical Fiber Sensing


This paper reviews the recent advances on the high-performance distributed Brillouin optical fiber sensing, which include the conventional distributed Brillouin optical fiber sensing based on backward stimulated Brillouin scattering and two other novel distributed sensing mechanisms based on Brillouin dynamic grating and forward stimulated Brillouin scattering, respectively. As for the conventional distributed Brillouin optical fiber sensing, the spatial resolution has been improved from meter to centimeter in the time-domain scheme and to millimeter in the correlation-domain scheme, respectively; the measurement time has been reduced from minute to millisecond and even to microsecond; the sensing range has reached more than 100 km. Brillouin dynamic grating can be used to measure the birefringence of a polarization-maintaining fiber, which has been explored to realize distributed measurement of temperature, strain, salinity, static pressure, and transverse pressure. More recently, forward stimulated Brillouin scattering has gained considerable interest because of its capacity to detect mechanical features of materials surrounding the optical fiber, and remarkable works using ingenious schemes have managed to realize distributed measurement, which opens a brand-new way to achieve position-resolved substance identification.


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This work was funded by the National Key Scientific Instrument and Equipment Development Project of China (Grant No. 2017YFF0108700).

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Correspondence to Yongkang Dong.

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Dong, Y. High-Performance Distributed Brillouin Optical Fiber Sensing. Photonic Sens 11, 69–90 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13320-021-0616-7

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  • Distributed sensing
  • stimulated Brillouin scattering
  • Brillouin dynamic grating
  • multi-parameter measurement