Distributed temperature sensing (DTS).

OptixSoft Company’s Blog has started new trend from now - "Invited Blogger". We will invite engineers and specialists in related fields from outside (fiber optics, software development, etc.) to post at our Blog. It may help us to hear and share different opinions and ideas.

Here is the first such post written by our friend and fiber optic specialist Andrew Luzgin (currently working for FOD Ltd).

Distributed temperature sensing – is a great technology on OTDR base.

A few words about theory. Well known, that original OTDR measures a backscattered Rayleigh light in the optical fiber. Except Rayleigh effect, there are another scattering effects in the oprical fiber (not in fibers only, of course). It is so called Brillouin and Raman scattering. The intensity of the Raman scattered light is very sensitive to optical fiber temperature. So, it is available to measure distributed temperature along optical fiber. It can be original singlemode (SM) or multimode (MM) fibers. Both fiber types application has merits and demerits.

Simplified schematic of DTS system is below.

At first glance, it looks like an original OTDR, but DTS includes optical filter (OF) and optical commutator (OC). These parts are necessary to choose Raman light from total backscattered signal. And then — a usual OTDR. In a simple case, it can be an OTDR interface with some special processing on the software level.
Nowadays, DTS system becomes a powerful attribute for environment research, fire alarm, piping control etc. Of course, most useful application is a long time temperature monitoring. This allows storing information about control object, producing necessary analysis and predictions.

Many thanks to Invited Blogger - Andrew Luzgin.

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At October 10, 2009 at 1:30 PM , Anonymous LIOStech said...

Please consider also DTS systems based on Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry (OFDR). As they don't send light pulses they have strong advantages to classic OTDR. See some examples at


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