A fiber-optic system for the quasi-distributed detection of liquids

This letter presents a multiplexed fiber-optic sensor array suitable for detection of liquid intrusions, spills, and leaks. The proposed detection systems is based on active heating and observation of temperature changes in short sections of optically absorbing (vanadium-doped) optical fibers that were interconnected into a sensing array by a standard single-mode optical fiber. The heating of the vanadium-doped fiber sections was achieved by application of a common 980-nm pump laser source. The associated signal processing and integration utilizes a simple, custom-designed optical time domain reflectometry that relies on only a few low-cost standard telecom components.