Optical Sensing Components
Emerging optics-based sensor technologies, such as coherent LiDAR and distributed sensing, require reliable and stable optical components that enable the precise measurement of a variety of physical properties. TeraXion’s DFB semiconductor lasers combine high optical performance with ruggedness and ease of operation. TeraXion’s wide offering in fiber Bragg gratings can meet any optical sensing filtering need.
An optical sensing system detects and monitors changes occurring in the sensor’s environment, by measuring changes in the properties of light, such as variations in frequency, phase, or intensity, and by converting these changes into an electronic signal. Optical sensing is particularly appropriate in cases whereby the measurement has to be carried out far away from the user’s location; since the sensing is done optically, the technique is highly suitable for hazardous environments in which electrostatic discharge could cause serious accidents and injuries. The light travels through free space or through fiber optic cables.
Optical sensing systems must deliver high performance, be cost-effective, and enable users to operate flawlessly in harsh environments to meet demanding operational requirements:
- High sensitivity: High signal-to-noise ratio for precision measurement of subtle changes
- Stability: Meaningful results obtained over long periods of time, without the need for recalibration
- Ruggedness: Reliability in a variety of temperature, humidity, or vibration conditions
- Low size, weight, and power: Compact design and energy efficiency for easy field deployments
Coherent LiDAR systems enable the accurate and precise remote measurement of parameters, such as distance and velocity. They rely on low noise and stable laser sources that can either be pulsed or frequency modulated, depending on the sensing scheme. FMCW LiDARs for long-range detection of obstacles with instantaneous velocity information and Doppler LiDARs for wind measurements and mapping are good examples of techniques relying on coherent detection.
TeraXion’s unique laser value proposition is based on an innovative DFB semiconductor design and high precision-control electronics. It results in narrow linewidth, high linearity, and ultra-stable DFB semiconductor diodes and modules that are available in the 1550 nm region.
These characteristics, combined with the ruggedness and very low footprint, weight, and power consumption of an optimized module offering, make TeraXion’s lasers an excellent choice for seamless integration with coherent LiDAR systems. Furthermore, with its suitability for cost-effective, high-volume production, TeraXion’s lasers will be instrumental to enabling mass deployment of coherent LiDARs for the next generation of advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving.
- FMCW LiDAR for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD), levels 2 to 5
- FMCW LiDAR for three-dimensional (3D) city mapping and corridor mapping
- Doppler LiDAR for wind farm optimization
Fiber sensing enables the interrogation of an optical fiber deployed in sites, such as infrastructures, optical communications networks, power plants, oil fields, etc. Variations in temperature, strain, or vibration induce changes in the scattering properties of optical fiber: these changes are detected by the fiber sensing system and provide information about the environment surrounding the fiber. Events, such as intrusion or safety hazards, can therefore be detected and monitored when they occur—from the exact location where they take place.
TeraXion’s PureSpectrum™ narrow linewidth DFB laser modules, with their intrinsic stability and long coherence length, enable the precise detection and measurement of events that occur far away from the interrogator. TeraXion’s high-performance fiber Bragg grating optical filters can isolate a signal or a group of signals for optimized detection. They can also eliminate undesired signals, such as amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) or stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS), leading to more sensitive and accurate measurements.