Hydrophone design utilising Spectral-Shifts from Strain-Optic Interactions
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Alternative technologies for the production of hydrophones using optical sensing are reviewed with respect to performance and manufacturability. Sensor designs utilising spectral shifts as a result of strain-optic interactions are uncommon, and we believe they merit further investigation as geophysical sensors due to good sensitivity and relative ease of manufacture Specifically, a Long Period Fibre Grating placed onto a mandrel appears to be as promising candidate as a future compact hydrophone sensor. A mathematical model has been created for a compliant mandrel coupled with a Long Period Fibre Grating inscribed into plastic fibre. The modelling results indicate that such a sensor should provide a sensor of minimal size, with desirable sensitivity characteristics. Compared to the Rayleigh based optical fibre sensors being evaluated in geophysical applications currently the modelled sensor is predicted to have significantly greater sensitivity, with the mandrel acting as a mechanical amplifier. The main limitation of the spectral shift method is the number of sensors that can be multiplexed on a single fibre. However, a combination of time-domain and wavelength domain multiplexing could significantly increase the number of sensors per fibre to usable numbers for geophysical applications.
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