All-Fiber Laser-Self-Mixing Sensor for Acoustic Emission Measurement

Publication Name

Journal of Lightwave Technology


Self-mixing interferometry (SMI) is a promising non-destructive sensing technology with advantages of simplicity in system structure, low cost in implementation, ease in optical alignment, and high resolution in measurement. It consists of a laser diode, a photodiode packaged at the rear of the laser diode, a lens, and a target to be measured. Typically, SMI-based sensing is to measure the phase change in an SMI signal with a fringe pattern as sinusoidal or saw-tooth like. The phase is called optical phase in external cavity that is linked to the quantity to be measured, e.g., displacement, velocity, and vibration. Each SMI fringe maps to a half-laser-wavelength displacement of the target. With increasing feedback level in an SMI system, some fringes may lost or even totally disappear. In this case, the laser output from an SMI system can trace the optical phase to achieve a linear sensing relationship. In this article, we design an all-fiber SMI linear sensor for real-time and fast tracking acoustic emission (AE) signals. Firstly, a system design in terms of selection of operating parameters is presented. Then, a proof of concept experimental system was built for detecting AE signals. The results show that the proposed SMI sensor has comparable AE detection capability to piezoelectric sensor, providing a compact and cost-effective optical AE sensing solution without need of extra signal processing, which can be considered as a viable alternative to the well-established piezoelectric AE sensor.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access





Article Number


First Page


Last Page




Link to publisher version (DOI)