Ultrasensitive, high-dynamic-range and broadband strain sensing by time-of-flight detection with femtosecond-laser frequency combs

Scientific Reports
Xing LuKebin Shi


Ultrahigh-resolution optical strain sensors provide powerful tools in various scientific and engineering fields, ranging from long-baseline interferometers to civil and aerospace industries. Here we demonstrate an ultrahigh-resolution fibre strain sensing method by directly detecting the time-of-flight (TOF) change of the optical pulse train generated from a free-running passively mode-locked laser (MLL) frequency comb. We achieved a local strain resolution of 18 pε/Hz1/2 and 1.9 pε/Hz1/2 at 1 Hz and 3 kHz, respectively, with large dynamic range of >154 dB at 3 kHz. For remote-point sensing at 1-km distance, 80 pε/Hz1/2 (at 1 Hz) and 2.2 pε/Hz1/2 (at 3 kHz) resolution is demonstrated. While attaining both ultrahigh resolution and large dynamic range, the demonstrated method can be readily extended for multiple-point sensing as well by taking advantage of the broad optical comb spectra. These advantages may allow various applications of this sensor in geophysical science, structural health monitoring, and underwater science.


Aug 12, 2005·Optics Letters·Jong H ChowIan C M Littler
Jun 21, 2007·The Review of Scientific Instruments·Seth M ForemanJun Ye
Jun 21, 2007·The Review of Scientific Instruments·Veijo LyöriJuha Kostamovaara
May 29, 2006·Optics Express·Jong H ChowMalcolm B Gray
Oct 30, 2010·Science·G GagliardiP De Natale
Jun 16, 2015·Optics Express·Qingwen LiuTomochika Tokunaga
Nov 3, 2016·The Review of Scientific Instruments·Fábio Luis Marques Dos Santos, Bart Peeters

Methods Mentioned

electron diffraction

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