High-Sensitivity Demodulation of Fiber-Optic Acoustic Emission Sensor Using Self-Injection Locked Diode Laser

Farzia Karim, Abu Farzan Mitul, Bohan Zhou, Ming Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We demonstrate the use of a self-injection locked distributed feedback (DFB) diode laser for high-sensitivity detection of acoustic emission (AE) using a fiber-coil Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) sensor. The FPI AE sensor is formed by two weak fiber Bragg gratings on the ends of a long span of coiled fiber, resulting in dense sinusoidal fringes in its reflection spectrum that allows the use of a modified phase-generated carrier demodulation method. The demodulation method does not require agile tuning capability of the laser, which makes the self-injection locked laser particularly attractive for the application. Experimental results indicate that the self-injection locked laser increases the signal-to-noise ratio by ∼33 dB compared with the free-running DFB laser. We studied the mode-hopping and laser instability of the self-injection locked laser and their effect on the demodulated signal and found that a mode hopping event causes an abrupt change in the laser intensity after the resonator inside the feedback loop. It manifests itself as a short transient signal in the output of the AE sensor system. With the identification of the mode-hopping events, the associated spurious signal can be identified and discarded in the signal processing without causing significant disruption to the sensor system. Experiment shows that the frequency of locked lasers could oscillate during unstable operations. The fundamental frequency is determined by the time delay of the feedback light and is typically much larger than the AE frequency. Therefore, the laser frequency oscillations have no negative effect on the performance of the sensor system. Finally, we show that the frequency of mode-hopping occurrence is related to the length of the feedback loop and reducing the loop length can effectively reduce the frequency of mode-hopping occurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7142610
JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • Fabry-Perot interferometer
  • Fiber Bragg gratings
  • Fiber-optic sensors
  • Laser self-injection locking
  • Phase-generated carrier demodulation
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Ultrasonic sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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