Analysis of a distributed fiber-optic temperature sensor using single-photon detectors

Shellee D. Dyer*, Michael Geoffrey Tanner, Burm Baek, Robert H Hadfield, Sae Woo Nam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
132 Downloads (Pure)


We demonstrate a high-accuracy distributed fiber-optic temperature sensor using superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors and single-photon counting techniques. Our demonstration uses inexpensive single-mode fiber at standard telecommunications wavelengths as the sensing fiber, which enables extremely low-loss experiments and compatibility with existing fiber networks. We show that the uncertainty of the temperature measurement decreases with longer integration periods, but is ultimately limited by the calibration uncertainty. Temperature uncertainty on the order of 3 K is possible with spatial resolution of the order of 1 cm and integration period as small as 60 seconds. Also, we show that the measurement is subject to systematic uncertainties, such as polarization fading, which can be reduced with a polarization diversity receiver. (C) 2012 Optical Society of America

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3456-3466
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2012




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