Distributed Optical Fiber Sensing Assisted by Optical Communication Techniques

Yaxi Yan, Hua Zheng, Zhiyong Zhao, Changjian Guo, Xiong Wu, Junhui (visitor) Hu, Alan Pak Tao Lau, Chao Lu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The development of optical fiber technology has facilitated the technological innovation in optical fiber communication and sensing systems over the past decades. Among all the fiber sensing technologies, distributed optical fiber sensing (DOFS) has attracted great research interests and has been extensively investigated. In optical fiber communication systems, optical parameters such as intensity, phase, polarization, or frequency are modulated to realize data transmission, while for DOFS they are employed to measure the distributed physical parameter variation along the sensing fiber. Due to the similarities shared by optical fiber communication systems and DOFS systems, optical communication techniques, including coherent detection, polarization diversity and multicarrier signaling have been widely used in the DOFS to improve the sensing performance. In this article, principles of coherent detection, polarization diversity and multicarrier signaling are introduced and their applications in phase sensitive optical time domain reflectometry and Brillouin optical time domain analyzer are reviewed. A newly proposed unidirectional forward transmission based DOFS is also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9350167
Pages (from-to)3654-3670
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021


  • coherent detection
  • distributed optical fiber sensing
  • forward transmission
  • multicarrier signaling
  • optical communications
  • polarization diversity
  • φ-OTDR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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