Optical Fiber Sensing is a technology that uses optical fibers to detect and measure physical, chemical, or environmental parameters by exploiting changes in light properties as they propagate through the fiber. Optical fibers are highly sensitive to various external factors, making them valuable for sensing applications in industries such as telecommunications, oil and gas, healthcare, and environmental monitoring.


Using Global Fiber Networks for Environmental Sensing

We review recent advances in distributed fiber optic sensing (DFOS) and their applications. The scattering mechanisms in glass, which are exploited for reflectometry-based DFOS, are Rayleigh, Brillouin, and Raman scatterings. These are sensitive to either strain and/or temperature, allowing optical fiber cables to monitor their ambient environment in addition to their conventional role as a medium for telecommunications. Recently, DFOS leveraged technologies developed for telecommunications, such as coherent detection, digital signal processing, coding, and spatial/frequency diversity, to achieve improved performance in terms of measurand resolution, reach, spatial resolution, and bandwidth. We review the theory and architecture of commonly used DFOS methods. We provide recent experimental and field trial results where DFOS was used in wide-ranging applications, such as geohazard monitoring, seismic monitoring, traffic monitoring, and infrastructure health monitoring. Events of interest often have unique signatures either in the spatial, temporal, frequency, or wavenumber domains. Based on the temperature and strain raw data obtained from DFOS, downstream postprocessing allows the detection, classification, and localization of events. Combining DFOS with machine learning methods, it is possible to realize complete sensor systems that are compact, low cost, and can operate in harsh environments and difficult-to-access locations, facilitating increased public safety and smarter cities.

Evolution of Fiber Infrastructure – From Data Transmission to Network Sensing

We review multiple use cases over deployed networks including co-existing sensing/data transmission, cable cut prevention and perimeter intrusion detection to realize telecom infrastructure can be sensing backbones instead of the sole function of data transmission.

Field Tests of Impulsive Acoustic Event Detection, Localization, and Classification Over Telecom Fiber Networks

We report distributed-fiber-optic-sensing results on impulsive acoustic events localization/classification over telecom networks. A deep-learning-based model was trained to classify starter-gun and fireworks signatures with high accuracy of > 99% using fiber-based-signal-enhancer and >97% using aerial coils.

Perimeter Intrusion Detection with Rayleigh Enhanced Fiber Using Telecom Cables as Sensing Backhaul

We report field test results of facility perimeter intrusion detection with distributed-fiber-sensing technology and backscattering-enhanced-fiber by using deployed telecom fiber cables as sensing backhaul. Various intrusive activities, such as walking/jumping at >100ft distance, are detected.

Vibration Detection and Localization using Modified Digital Coherent Telecom Transponders

We demonstrate a vibration detection and localization scheme based on bidirectional transmission of telecom signals with digital coherent detection at the receivers. Optical phase is extracted from the digital signal processing blocks of the coherent receiver, from which the vibration component is extracted by bandpass filtering, and the position along the cable closest to the vibration’s epicenter is recovered by correlation. We demonstrate our scheme first using offline experiment with 200-Gb/s DP-16QAM, and we report field trial results over installed fiber to detect real-world vibration events.

More Than Communications: Environment Monitoring Using Existing Data Center Network Infrastructure

We propose reusing existing optical cables in metropolitan networks for distributed sensing using a bidirectional, dual-band architecture where communications and sensing signals can coexist with weak interaction on the same optical fiber.

First Field Trial of Sensing Vehicle Speed, Density, and Road Conditions by Using Fiber Carrying High Speed Data

For the first time, we demonstrate detection of vehicle speed, density, and road conditions using deployed fiber carrying high-speed data transmission, and prove carriers’ large-scale fiber infrastructures can also be used as ubiquitous sensing networks.

Multi-parameter distributed fiber sensing with higherorder optical and acoustic modes

We propose a novel multi-parameter sensing technique based on a Brillouin optical time domain reflectometry in the elliptical-core few-mode fiber, using higher-order optical and acoustic modes. Multiple Brillouin peaks are observed for the backscattering of both the LP01 mode and LP11 mode. We characterize the temperature and strain coefficients for various optical–acoustic mode pairs. By selecting the proper combination of modes pairs, the performance of multi-parameter sensing can be optimized. Distributed sensing of temperature and strain is demonstrated over a 0.5-km elliptical-core few-mode fiber, with the discriminative uncertainty of 0.28°C and 5.81 ?? for temperature and strain, respectively.

Distributed Temperature and Strain Sensing Using Brillouin Optical Time Domain Reflectometry Over a Few Mode Elliptical Core Optical Fiber

We propose a single-ended Brillouin-based sensor in elliptical-core few-mode optical fiber for multi-parameter measurement using spontaneous Brillouin scattering. Distributed sensing of temperature and strain is demonstrated over 0.5 km elliptical-core few-mode fiber.