Optical Sensing Components
Emerging optics-based sensor technologies, such as LiDAR and distributed sensing, require reliable and stable optical components, allowing precise measurement of a variety of physical properties. TeraXion’s PureSpectrum™ line of lasers combines high optical performance with ruggedness and ease of operation, while TeraXion’s wide offering in fiber Bragg gratings can meet any optical sensing application’s unique filtering needs.
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 where the measurement has to be done far away from the user’s location; since the sensing is done optically, the technique is highly suitable for hazardous environments, where 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 be able to operate flawlessly in harsh environments while meeting 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-efficient for easy field deployment
LiDAR systems allow accurate and precise remote measurement of parameters such as distance and velocity. This very versatile technique is now being largely deployed in various forms: measurement of wind speed for wind farm optimization, detection of nearby obstacles by autonomous vehicles, mapping of a forest canopy by a drone, and many more. Coherent LiDAR relies on low noise, stable laser sources to either seed the pulsed laser, or to directly provide a continuous wave light source to interrogate the target. TeraXion’s PureSpectrum™ lasers are narrow linewidth, ultra-stable and high power DFB semiconductor laser modules that are available at any eye-safe wavelength between 1530 and 1560 nm. These characteristics, combined to the ruggedness and very low size, weight and power of the module, make TeraXion’s lasers an excellent choice for seamless implementation into LiDAR systems.
Radio-frequency over fiber
High-end applications requiring the transmission of RF signals using photonics benefit from the low loss and lightness of optical fiber combined with the high-speed response of optoelectronic components. In these applications, an optical carrier is used to transport RF information over an optical fiber, and the RF signal may consist of one or more RF subcarriers modulated by analog signals. TeraXion’s PureSpectrum™ lasers provide a low noise, stable optical carrier for RF photonic links, whereas TeraXion’s suite of high-isolation, narrowband FBG filters allows efficient suppression of undesirable signals, for much improved spur-free dynamic range (SFDR) for the link.