Abstract

Polarization noise arises in Brillouin optical time-domain analysis due to the strong polarization sensitivity of stimulated Brillouin scattering. To avoid this noise, it turns out to be indispensable to perform some kind of polarization scrambling, either in the pump pulse, the probe signal or both. This is usually achieved using polarization scrambling/switching systems, which, being mechanical, tend to be not as robust as it would be desirable. In this paper, we propose a completely passive system, with no moving parts, to eliminate polarization noise in a BOTDA. It is based on the use of passive depolarization of the pump pulse together with balanced detection among orthogonally polarized Stokes and anti-Stokes bands of the probe signal. The setup requires no alignment readjustment over time and provides a performance similar to a conventional BOTDA using scrambler.

© 2014 IEEE

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