Optical fiber for dispersion addressing

This letter presents a fully distributed forward propagating system, suitable for use with microbend sensors. The principle relies on selected mode launch in specially designed multimode fiber where a short pulse is launched into the fundamental mode. In the presence of microbend disturbance located down the sensing fiber, light couples from the fundamental to higher-order modes that propagate at different group velocity than the fundamental mode. The position of the disturbance is determined by the time delay between the pulse carried by the fundamental mode and by the pulse carried by higher-order modes. The group velocity difference is maximized by proper construction of the refractive index profile of the proposed fiber. Experimentally produced fibers exhibited difference of group velocities in ranges over 1%. This allows for easy reconstruction of position and amplitude of microbend deformations located down the sensing fiber. � 2000 American Institute of Physics.