Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering (Holcomb Dept. of)

Committee Member

Dr. Hai Xiao, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Liang Dong

Committee Member

Dr. Eric G. Johnson

Committee Member

Dr. Lawrence C. Murdoch


In the past few years, microwave-photonics technologies have been investigated for optical fiber sensing. By introducing microwave modulation into the optical system, the optical detection is synchronized with the microwave modulation frequency. As a result, the system has a high SNR and thus an improved detection limit. In addition, the phase of the microwave-modulated light can be obtained and Fourier transformed to find the time-of-arrival information for distributed sensing. Recently, an incoherent optical-carrier-based microwave interferometry (OCMI) technique has been demonstrated for fully distributed sensing with high spatial resolution and large measurement range. Since the modal interference has little influence on the OCMI signal, the OCMI is insensitive to the types of optical waveguide. Motivated by the needs of distributed measurement in the harsh environment, in the first part of this paper, several OCMI-based sensing systems were built by using special multimode waveguides to perform sensing for heavy duty applications. Driven by an interest on the high-resolution sensing, in the second part of the paper, I propose a coherence-gated microwave photonics interferometry (CMPI) technique, which uses a coherent light source to obtain the optical interference signal from cascaded weak reflectors. The coherence length of the light source is carefully chosen or controlled to gate the signal so that distributed sensing can be achieved. The experimental results indicate that the strain resolution can be better than 0.6 µε using a Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) with a cavity length of 1.5 cm. Further improvement of the strain resolution to the 1 nε level is achievable by increasing the cavity length of the FPI to over 1m. The CMPI has also been utilized for distributed dynamic measurement of vibration by using a new signal processing method. The fast time-varying optical interference intensity change induced by the sub-scan rate vibration is recorded in the frequency domain. After Fourier transform, distinctive features are shown at the vibration location in the time domain signal, where the vibration frequency and intensity can be retrieved. The signal processing method supports vibration measurement of multiple points with the measurable frequency of up to 20 kHz.



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