Theoretical and experimental comparison between power and degree of polarization based optical fiber current sensors

Carolina Franciscangelis, Fabiano Fruett, Claudio Floridia, Edson W. Bezerra, Ariovaldo A. Leonardi, Alexandre S. Cunha, Valentino Corso


This paper presents a theoretical and experimental comparison of two techniques of optical fiber current sensors (OFCS) based on the Faraday Effect: the power and the degree of polarization (DOP) methods. The DOP method is shown to be insensitive to state of polarization (SOP) changes induced by environmental conditions. A maximum variation of 0.4% in the DOP value in the entire range of applied current from 0 to 100 A was measured. It is the first time to our knowledge that this fact was experimentally verified. Also, for the first time known it is reported that zero current response, DOP = 0.996, is in agreement with the theoretical expected value of unitary DOP. Besides, the theoretical and experimental normalized DOP is shown to have a maximum difference of 0.33% in the entire range of applied current. On the other hand, the power method OFCS is greatly affected by SOP changes. In order to be used in a practical application, its complexity must be increased by the use, for example, of polarization maintaining fibers instead of standard fibers used in the DOP method, increasing the cost of the sensor element.

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