Measuring electrically charged particle fluxes in space using a fiber optic loop sensor
- Jul 1, 1992.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
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- The purpose of this program was to demonstrate the potential of a fiber optic loop sensor for the measurement of electrically charged particle fluxes in space. The key elements of the sensor are a multiple turn loop of low birefringence, single mode fiber, with a laser diode light source, and a low noise optical receiver. The optical receiver is designed to be shot noise limited, with this being the limiting sensitivity factor for the sensor. The sensing element is the fiber optic loop. Under a magnetic field from an electric current flowing along the axis of the loop, there is a non-vanishing line integral along the fiber optic loop. This causes a net birefringence producing two states of polarization whose phase difference is correlated to magnetic field strength and thus, current in the optical receiver electronic processing. The objectives in this program were to develop a prototype laser diode powered fiber optic sensor. The performance specification of a minimum detectable current density of 1 (mu)amp/sq m-(radical)Hz, should be at the shot noise limit of the detection electronics. OPTRA has successfully built and tested a 3.2 m diameter loop with 137 turns of low birefringence optical fiber and achieved a minimum detectable current density of 5.4 x 10(exp-5) amps/(radical)Hz. If laboratory space considerations were not an issue, with the length of optical fiber available to us, we would have achieved a minimum detectable current density of 4 x 10(exp -7) amps/(radical)Hz.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19940019356.
Accession ID: 94N23829.
- No Copyright.
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