In-line fiber etalon (ILFE) fiber-optic strain sensors
Journal of Lightwave Technology (Volume:13 , Issue: 7, 1256 - 1263)

This paper describes an optical fiber interferometer that uses a short segment of silica hollow-core fiber spliced between two sections of single-mode fiber to form a mechanically robust in-line optical cavity. The hollow-core fiber is specifically manufactured to have an outer diameter that is equal to the outer diameter of the single mode lead fibers, thereby combining the best qualities of existing intrinsic and extrinsic Fabry-Perot sensors. Uniaxial tension and pure bending strength tests are used to show that the new configuration does not diminish the axial strength of bare fiber and reduces the bending strength by 17% at most. Similar tests confirm that the fiber sensor has 1.96% strain to failure. Axisymmetric finite element analysis is used to investigate the reliability of the in-line etalon when it is embedded in a typical thermoset composite, and parametric studies are performed to determine the mechanically optimal cavity length. The fiber optic sensor is tested using low coherence interferometry with pseudo-heterodyne demodulation under strain and temperature fields. The strain response compares well with resistance strain gages, and the temperature tests confirm the low thermal apparent strain of this sensor