MICRORESONATOR FIBER OPTIC SENSORS

[Home] [Fiber optic interferometer] [Interferometric sensors with mechanical resonator] Fiber optic sensors, in which the micromechanical resonator acts as a sensitive element, have been proposed for measurement of many physical parameters, such as force, temperature, pressure and acceleration. The basic principle is that the measured parameter changes the microresonator natural frequency. The flexural vibrations of the microresonator are excited and detected by light. An all-optical approach using optical fibers for light transmission offers the electrical passivity, while the output of the sensor, being a frequency, is transmission-lineindependent. The use of metallic glasses as a microresonator material opens new possibility for sensing of outer actions through the changes of the magnetic field. Measured Parameters - Acceleration and Vibration - Pressure - Force and Stress - Temperature - Magnetic field Main Advantages - Electrical passivity - Frequency coding of output signal - Light-weight - Low mechanical hysteresis - High shock survivability Frequency Output Materials For Microresonators - Boron-doped silicon - Silicon dioxide - Silicon nitride - Metallic glass

Passivity Microresonator sensors being electrically passive can remotely operate in the presence of strong electromagnetic interference, hostile environment, explosiveness, while itself the passive sensors can not be detected electrically. Diminutiveness Silicon microresonator may be bonded directly to the end of an optical fiber leading to a very diminutive low-cost extrinsic sensor capable of providing the precision measurements based on frequency readout

Silicon Microresonators

Using the frequency as the Most frequently the information parameter for a microresonator is a silicon quantity to be measured microbridge clamped at both presents two major advantages: ends. it can be transmitted through extended systems and over large distance without any error and, second, it can be easily digitized by counting the periods. Development Application Development of microresonator fiber optic sensors requires the joint efforts of several branches of science and technology: - Microelectronics - Radioelectronics - Fiber Optics - Aerospace guidance and control - Industrial control - Damage localization in civil, mechanical, and aerospace structures (bridges, highways, buildings, oil platforms, etc.) - Passive damping - Special measurements in field and laboratory

See HTML slide show on main feature and advantages of microresonator sensors 1. Introduction The creation of optical fibers with a small extinction coefficient has encouraged the development of sensors operated entirely by optical signals and requiring no external electrical supplies. These

sensors are often called passive sensors. This means that the sensitive elements of such sensors do not have any electrical circuits, semiconductors, etc., and consist, in many cases, of only elements such as silicon and silicon dioxide. These materials are electrically passive, i.e. they do not distort the surrounding electric and magnetic fields, do not radiate electromagnetic waves and are not sensitive to electromagnetic interference. Passive sensors can remotely operate in the presence of strong electromagnetic interference, a hostile environment, explosiveness, and at high temperatures. These conditions often appear in space, plasma, on oil platforms, power stations, and in many other situations. The applications of fiber optic sensors are widely known for the measurement of temperature, pressure, force, displacement, acceleration, etc. The passive sensors have been developed to date usually as intensity-encoded sensors and therefore they require special efforts such as a reference channel in order to minimize the influences of long-term aging of source characteristics as well as short-term fluctuations of optical power loss in the cable on the accuracy of measurements. Using frequency as the information parameter for a quantity to be measured presents two major advantages: it can be transmitted through extended systems and over large distances without error, and secondly, it can be easily digitized by counting its periods. One concept for frequency-encoded fiber optic sensors makes use of micromechanical resonant structures that are anisotropically etched in silicon and are more frequently in a form of a rectangular beam clamped at both ends on a comparatively massive substrate. The basic principle is that the parameter of interest (such as acceleration or pressure) deforms the substrate, the mechanical stress appears inside the resonant beam, and consequently, the resonance frequency of the fundamental flexural mode is changed proportionally to the parameter of interest.

Mechanical resonators are well recognized in the general transducer industry as providing the potential for accurate measurements; their frequency-coded signals may be readily transmitted without distortion. In fiber optics, the resonators are set in motion and interrogated optically. The excitation of the mechanical oscillation is accomplished photothermally using an intensity-modulated laser radiation, while the displacements of the resonant beam are detected with the aid of the FabryPerot interferometer formed by the partially reflecting surface of the vibrating beam and the output end surface of the optical fiber. Oscillation of the beam modulates reflectivity of Fabry-Perot cavity, so that an intensity-modulated light propagates back, when the interferometer is illuminated with a CW laser source. Main advantages of microresonator fiber optic sensors are the digital output signal (frequency), which is easily processed and does not depend upon the light intensity, and electrical passivity, which allows the sensor to be operated in the presence of strong electromagnetic interference. 2. Microfabrication technique. The microresonator is formed generally in the form of a rectangular microbeam (several microns thick and 200-1000 micron long) clamped at both ends on a comparatively massive substrate. The basic principle is that the parameter of interest (such as force, temperature, acceleration or pressure) deforms the substrate and varies by such a way the resonance frequency of microresonator.

Fig.1. Fiber optic interferometer Fabry-Perot formed by microresonator beam and the tip of optical fiber

Photo 1 shows the silicon microstructure developed and fabricated by us. It consists of a surrounding frame 1 and two beams 2 supporting the mass 3. Under the action of applied acceleration the mass 3 can move slightly in the direction perpendicular to the structure plane bending the supporting beams. This bending causes a tensile stress to be applied to the microresonator beam. The resonance frequency of microresonator depends on the applied stress, and, therefore, it depends upon the applied acceleration. The use of metallic glass (amorphous metal) in microresonators opens new possibilities for passive Photo.1. Silicon microstructure. 1 surrounding frame, 2 - support beam, 3 - sensing of magnetic fields and their associated values, such as displacement, acceleration or force. In this case movable mass, 4 - microresonators. the microresonator is a cantilever beam clamped at one Full size: Photo 1 (608 Kb) end, which may be cut with the aid of high-power laser or by standard wet etching techniques. The resonance frequency of the metallic glass cantilever structure is varied with a magnetic field via the magnetoelastic effect (DE-effect) as well as via force interaction of a magnetic field with a magnetized resonator tip. These effects were explored in our works.

3. Optical part The oscillation of the microresonator beam is detected with the aid of low-contrast Fabry-Perot interferometer. The interferometer reflectors are formed by the end surface of the single-mode optical fiber and the partially reflecting surface of the microresonator beam. When the resonator oscillates, the phase difference of interfering rays is modulated and the intensity-modulated radiation is detected by a photodiode. The microresonator oscillation is excited photothermally by an intensitymodulated optical radiation.

Two laser diodes with different wavelengths are used for excitation and interrogation of mechanical oscillation of microresonator. The scheme of the optical system is shown in Fig.2. The microresonator oscillation is excited by the optical radiation at the wavelength 1.5mm pulsed with the microresonator natural frequency. This radiation is transported from the laser diode to the resonant structure by an optical fiber. The mechanical oscillation is excited photothermally when the pulsed radiation at the wavelength 1.5mm is absorbed by microresonator. The same fiber is used also for the detection of the microresonator oscillation. The end of the fiber and the reflective surface of the resonant beam form the Fabry-Perot cavity. This cavity is illuminated by the CW light of the second laser diode at the wavelength 1300 nm. So, when the microbeam vibrates, the intensity-modulated optical radiation is propagating back by optical fiber to the photodiode detector. But, if we do not take the special measures, the modulated radiation at the wavelength 1550 nm will enter the photodiode interfering with interferometer signal. For this reason 1300/1550 nm wavelength division multiplexer (WDM) has to be used to separate these two optical signals. An additional 1550 nm reject filter (one more WDM) suppresses the residual optical signal

Fig. 2. Optical part of the microresonator sensors.

at the wavelength 1550 nm before the photodetector. Two 20 dB wavelength division multiplexers separated the optical at different wavelengths by 40 dB. As a result the microresonator oscillates at the resonance frequency and the electrical signal at the same frequency appears at the output of photodetector. 4. Phase-locked-loop. The operation in open-loop mode, in which no feedback is present between the interrogation and excitation system, is clearly not practical for a real sensor. For this reason a closed-loop system has to be used which automatically finds and tracks the resonance frequency of the sensor element. The phase-locked-loop (PLL) links the excitation and interrogation channels. When the microresonator natural frequency is changed under the action of applied stress, the phase of the output photodetector signal differs as compared to the phase of the voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO). The PLL changes the frequency of VCO to restore the phase difference and tracks by such a way the resonance frequency of microresonator.

LASER MODULES
[home] [photodetectors] [laser modules] [couplers and multiplexers] Features: - stabilization of the wavelength with the aid of thermoelectric cooler - stabilization of the optical power via the use of feedback photodiode - single-mode output FC/Super PC Main specifications: Wavelength: 1310, 1550 nm DC supply voltage: - nonestabilized 9..18 V Laser modules is intended for use in fiber optic - stabilized ± 5 V - ~ 84..240 V sensors. Maximal consuming power: 7 W Optical connector: single-mode FC/Super PC Specification of the laser modules is matter to Size, LхWхH: 160x88x40 mm be discussed. Typical spectrum of laser modules: Single-mode laser modulus: Output optical power: 0.5...3 mW Spectral width (FWHM): 2..5 nm Laser modules with Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG): Output optical power: 0.5...3 mW Spectral width (FWHM): < 500 кГц Superluminescent Diode Modules Output optical power: 0.1..1.0 mW Spectral width (FWHM): 30 nm Principle scheme of the modules:

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