Signal conditioning unit for fiber optic sensors
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Apparatus and method (10, 50) for determining the value of a measurand measured by a fiber optic interferometer sensor (24, 72, 110) is provided. The apparatus includes a light source (16, 58, 102) emitting a light having a periodically modulated frequency which is injected into the interferometric sensor. A modulation cycle is initiated by the microcontroller's (12, 56, 116) generation of a trigger signal. A counter (42, 86) begins counting in response to the trigger signal. A first photodetector (20, 66) is coupled to the light source (16, 58, 102) and produces a first electrical signal proportional to the light. A second photodetector (36, 76, 114) is coupled to the fiber optic interferometer sensor (24, 72, 110) and produces a second electrical signal proportional to the light reflected by the sensor or passed through the sensor and affected by the measurand. A comparator (40, 82, 116) compares the second electrical signal with the first electrical signal and detects a crossing of the first and second electrical signals. The counter (42, 86) stops counting in response to a detected signal crossing. The microcontroller (12, 56, 116) then computes a measurand value from the count value for each modulation cycle.
Taylor, Henry F.; Sadkowski, Roberto; Lee, Chung E. (1996). Signal conditioning unit for fiber optic sensors. United States. Patent and Trademark Office; Texas A&M University. Libraries. Available electronically from