We have experimentally analyzed and compared the performance of Brillouin optical time-domain analyzer (BOTDA) sensors assisted by non-local means (NLM) and wavelet denoising (WD) techniques in terms of measurement accuracy and experimental spatial resolution, respectively. Degradation of the measurement accuracy and experimental spatial resolution after denoising by NLM and WD are observed, which originate from the fact that higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) improvement is achieved at the expense of sacrificing the details of BOTDA data, and smaller data sampling point number (SPN) gives rise to insufficient redundant information for denoising. The two parameters degrade to different extents depending on the amount of SNR improvement and SPN adopted in data acquisition. Compared with WD, NLM relies more on the features of the raw data, which makes its performance highly dependent on the level of neighbouring data similarity. Also, for the first time we propose and demonstrate a BOTDA assisted by advanced Block-Matching and 3D filtering (BM3D) denoising technique, which minimizes the degradation of the two parameters even under higher SNR improvement and smaller SPN. BM3D takes the advantage of NLM and WD and utilizes the spatial-domain non-local principle to enhance the denoising in the transform domain, thus it shows the least degradation of measurement accuracy/experimental spatial resolution after denoising. Thus the BOTDA assisted by BM3D maintains the best measurement accuracy/experimental spatial resolution compared with those by NLM and WD. We also show that BM3D has the advantage of temperature independent performance, unlike NLM where the accuracy is affected by the temperature value. We believe BM3D would be an excellent denoising technique for state-of-the-art BOTDA sensors. In addition, this work is also valuable for practical applications of image denoising techniques in BOTDA sensors with respect to the appropriate choice of image denoising techniques, design of SNR improvement and the adoption of SPN to maintain optimal measurement accuracy/experimental spatial resolution/data acquisition speed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics