Improving the Spatial Resolution of a BOTDA Sensor Using Deconvolution Algorithm

Li Shen, Zhiyong Zhao, Can Zhao, Hao Wu, Chao Lu, Ming Tang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Spatial resolution improvement from an acquired measurement using long pulse is developed for Brillouin optical time domain analysis (BOTDA) systems based on the total variation deconvolution algorithm. The frequency dependency of Brillouin gain temporal envelope is investigated by simulation, and its impact on the recovered results of deconvolution algorithm is thoroughly analyzed. To implement a reliable deconvolution process, differential pulse-width pair (DPP) technique is utilized to effectively eliminate the systematic Brillouin frequency shift (BFS) distortion stemming from the frequency dependency of temporal envelope. The width of the pulse pairs should be larger than 40 ns as is analyzed theoretically and verified experimentally. It has been demonstrated that the proposed method can realize flexible adjustment of spatial resolution with enhanced signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) from an established measurement with long pump pulse. In the experiment, the spatial resolution is increased to 0.5 m and 1 m with high measurement accuracy by using the deconvolution algorithm from the measurement of 60/40 ns DPP signals. Compared with the raw DPP results with the same spatial resolution, 7.9 dB and 5.9 dB SNR improvements are obtained for 0.5 m and 1 m spatial resolution respectively, thanks to the denoising capability of the total variation deconvolution algorithm. The impact of sampling rate on the recovery results is also studied. The proposed sensing system allows for distortion-free Brillouin distributed sensing with higher spatial resolution and enhanced SNR from the conventional DPP setup with long pulse pairs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Brillouin scattering
  • deconvolution
  • Deconvolution
  • distributed optical fiber sensors
  • Optical fiber sensors
  • Optical fibers
  • Probes
  • Scattering
  • signal processing
  • Signal to noise ratio
  • Spatial resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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