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Simulation and modeling of Fiber Bragg Grating


Abstract: In recent years, Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBGs) are becoming increasingly attractive for sensing applications in biomechanics
and rehabilitation engineering due to their advantageous properties like small size, light weight, biocompatibility, chemical inertness,
multiplexing capability and immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI). They also offer a high performance alternative to
conventional technologies, either for measuring a variety of physical parameters or for performing high-sensitivity biochemical analysis
[1] .FBG-based sensors demonstrated their feasibility for specific sensing applications in aeronautic, automotive, civil engineering
structure monitoring and undersea oil exploration from past 20 years. However, their use in the field of biomechanics and rehabilitation
applications is very recent. In this paper, coupled mode theory based models of FBG are considered and simulated for model parameters
variations and reflected wavelength variations are documented.

Key words: FBG sensors, Coupled mode theory, Reflection spectrum, Pressure and Temperature profile,MATLAB

1. Introduction
Fiber Bragg grating sensors can be used for following biomedical applications as listed below:

1. Study of strain in bones

2. Pressure mapping in orthopedic joints
3. Stresses in intervertebral discs
4. Chest wall deformation.
5. Pressure distribution in Human Machine Interfaces(HMIs)
6. Forces induced by tendons and ligaments
7. Angles between body segments during gait,
8. Dental biomechanics.
9. Auditory evoked potential
10. Visual evoked potential
11. Monitoring bedridden patients for development of Bedsores and extracting pressure profile
12. Assessment of breathing effort.
13. Prosthetic monitoring.
14. Foot pressure measurement for diabetic patients.
15. Blood pressure profile extraction and working of Baroreceptors.
As highlighted above FBG usefulness for all these applications are published by research groups working in these areas [1]. A
comprehensive overview of the applications of FBG technology in biomechanics and rehabilitation in terms of the very recent progress
and the status of ongoing researches in biomedical applications and rest all other applications can be visualized. Furthermore,
comparison between FBGs and other conventional technologies can be taken up in order to show that FBG technology demonstrates
greater feasibility for most of applications in various fields. Features indicated regarding FBG sensors make it versatile for human body
uses that adapt the sensor material so that they are proved their utility for in vivo measurement and even if it is left there for long term
monitoring. All applications quoted above are the most familiar and frequent problems faced by the researchers under each category.
One of the common techniques employed is to extract the pressure profile on application or at the problem part of the body for medical
applications. Eventually, dependent parameters dynamically vary in all of the applications. Graphical plot of variations of these
parameters with respect to pressure profile can provide us evidences about conditions persistent targeted part of various applications.


Fiber Bragg grating has origin from the photosensitivity characteristics exhibited by Ge doped Silica fiber in 1978(Hill was
successfully demonstrated in 1989, that there was permanent refractive index change when this type of fiber was exposed to Ultra Violet
rays (Meltz is a variation of the refractive index along fiber length which is formed by exposing the core of fiber to periodic
pattern of intense Ultra Violet rays. An optical Fiber Grating (FBG) usually aligns form of periodic modulation of refractive index along
core of optical fiber. Such structure possesses property of reflecting light of single wavelength determined by the period of modulation
and mean index of the guide. Periods of half of micron reflect the light in the 1550nm window of the optical fiber. This device has found
its applications in add/drop multiplexers, dispersion compensators or gain equalizers. New innovation in this technique is the application
of this device in sensing application. The reflected wavelength popularly known as Bragg wavelength is found to depend on temperature
of the fiber or the strain applied and experienced by the fiber. Thus, by illuminating the fiber with the light of broad band spectrum and
measuring wavelength reflected by the grating it is possible to get insight into what is happening to the fiber in the region of grating [2]
[3]. A wide variety of optical fiber sensors are available, which can be divided into three categories: External or extrinsic category:
Where the fiber is only used to transfer the measured information to a distant location intrinsic category: Where the optical properties are
sensitive to strain and temperature Hybrid category: Where the light is transferred over the optical fiber for conversion into electricity on
a distant optical receiver. From the previously mentioned categories, the intrinsic sensors, where FBGs are included, have been studied
and applied in applications intensively during the past 20 years. Light wave of desired wavelength impact on FBG sensors .Now, on
application of strain the FBG either contracts or expands same as in the lines of strain gauge. Depending on the intensity of strain,
different wavelengths are reflected based on the separation of grating for different expansions and contractions. The reflected waveform
is sensed by PIN based or APD based detector receiver. Depending on the wavelength received the strain applied can be calculated for
various types of impulses as shown in the below figures [4][5].

Fig. 1. Scheme: The reflected color (= wavelength) shifts depending on the strain induced

Fig. 2. Spectral view: The center of the reflected narrow-band signal will shift with strain and/or temperature


The monitoring units have been designed for interrogating Bragg grating sensors. The system is qualified for the long-term strain or
temperature monitoring of buildings or structures, or in medicine. With typical FBG sensor wavelengths operating within a few
nanometers, optical interrogators must be capable of performing measurements with a resolution of a few picometers or less, a very
small value to quantify. One can choose from several methods for interrogating FBG optical sensors. Interferometers are often used in
laboratory settings and can provide high-resolution optical spectrum measurements. However, these devices are usually expensive, large,
and not rugged enough for field-monitoring applications involving a variety of structures including wind turbine blades, bridges,
pipelines, and dams. In Indian context there is availability of National instruments FBG interrogators. The NI PXIe-4844 Optical Sensor
Interrogator uses a Fabry-Perot tunable filter to create a fast, high-power sweeping laser, replacing the traditionally weak broadband light
source. A tunable laser concentrates energy in a narrow band, providing a high-powered light source with an excellent SNR. The high-
optical power generated by this architecture enables a single light source to be coupled with multiple fiber array channels, which reduces
cost and complexity for multichannel interrogators. Interrogators based on this tunable-laser architecture operate by sweeping a very
narrow band of light across a wavelength range while synchronously using a photo detector to measure the reflections from the
FBG[[5]]. When the wavelength of the tunable laser matches the Bragg wavelength of the FBG, the photo detector sees a corresponding
response. The wavelength at which this response occurs corresponds to the temperature and/or strain of the FBG (Figure 3).

Fig. 3. Tunable-Laser Approach for Interrogating FBG Optical Sensors

This method can deliver an accuracy of 1 pm, which translates to typical FBG sensor accuracies of 1.2 micro strain and 0.1oC (sensor
dependent). The tunable laser approach also enables measurement over longer fiber lengths (more than 10 km) because of its high-
optical power relative to alternatives. The NI PXIe-4844 optical sensor interrogator uses four simplex single-mode LC APC connector
ports to connect sensors. The LC APC meets or exceeds Telcordia GR326-CORE requirements, the most rigorous standard for single-
mode fiber-optic connectors. The interrogation monitor allows real-time spectrum monitoring of FBG sensors interrogation systems.
With the interrogation monitor software is supplied by the manufacturer that allows the visualization of the obtained waveforms in a
computer, in real-time, while the sensor is being actuated. This data can be saved for further investigation and study which allows
comparisons to be made along the time. With the help of FBG interrogators multiple signals can be simultaneously sensed and
transmitted & received over a single optical fiber using WDM technique.[[5]]. FBG also have distinctive advantage over other optical
fiber configurations due to its multiplexing capability that allows a single fibre optic cable with tens of gratings to measure a large range
of parameters in oil and gas production not limited to down hole production monitoring but also for downstream process monitoring,
platform structural monitoring and pipeline monitoring using wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technique.


The refractive index profile, grating length and the grating strength are basically the three qualities that control the properties
of FBG. And the properties that need to be initialized in simulations or in experimentation of an FBG are reflectivity, bandwidth and the
side lobe strength. Parameters like strain, temperature and pressure simultaneously act on FBG sensor.
The Bragg wavelength of the FBG will vary with changes in any of these parameters experienced by the fiber optic sensor
and the corresponding wavelength shifts are as follows:


The shift in Bragg wavelength due to the applied longitudinal strain is given by [2]


Where is the Bragg wavelength, is the applied strain along the longitudinal axis and is an effective strain-optic constant
defined as


and are the components of the fiber optic strain tensor also known as the Pockels constants of the fiber, determined

experimentally [21], is the effective refractive index and is the Poisson’s ratio. P11 and P12 are Pockel’s constants of fiber
which can be determined experimentally [5].

2.2.2 Temperture

The shift in Bragg wavelength as a result of temperature changes is described by [5]




2.2.3 Pressure

The shift in Bragg wavelength as a result of pressure changes is described by [3, 4]

Where E is the Young’s modulus of the fiber. Equation 6 shows the wavelength shift and is directly proportional to the pressure change


To model the FBG, the CMT will be considered since it is one of the best tools in understanding the optical properties of gratings. The
CMT is a powerful mathematical tool to analyze the wave propagation and interactions with materials in optical waveguide. [3]. CMT
have been used to successfully model numerous fiber grating structures and the results show excellent match with experimental works.
The CMT sees the grating structure as perturbation to an optical waveguide. Inbuilt in the grating structure are the refractive index
variations for fractional changes in the length.Wheras, in the normal optical waveguide the refractive index is constant throughout the
length of the optical waveguide. Here CMT gives the coupled equations for farward propagating wave and backward propagating wave
and their coupling conditions. When the coupling is maximized amplitude reflection coefficient and power reflection coefficients are

maximized. The fabrication of FBG results in a perturbation on the effective refractive index of the guided modes which is given
by [4].


where is the effective index change, is the fringe visibility of the index change, is the grating period and
denotes the grating chirp. For a single mode FBG, the simplified coupled mode equations are given as [5]



where R(z) and S(z) are the amplitudes of forward propagating and backward-propagating modes respectively. is the symbol used to

indicate complex number is the coefficient of coupling is its complex conjugate . is the general ’dc’ coupling coefficient.
They are defined as



The detuning and in Equation 10 are defined as



For a uniform FBG, in which is the mode propagation constant , is a constant and the grating chirp , and thus

and in Equations 10, 11 and 13 are constants. By specifying the appropriate boundary conditions, the analytical expression of
the reflectivity is obtained as [6]

The transfer matrix method is applied to solve the coupled mode theory equations and to obtain the spectral response of FBG. The FBG
with grating length L is divided into sections. of M and the larger the number of M , the more accurate this method is. During design,
care should be taken not to make M arbitrary too large as the coupled mode theory is difficult to implement for a uniform grating section
with just few periods long [2]. The amplitude of the forward-propagation mode and the backward-propagation mode before and after the
ith uniform sections are represented in a matrix of the form Fi as;

where Ri and Si are the amplitudes of the forward-propagation mode and backward-propagation mode after the ith uniform
sections and Ri-1and Si-1are the amplitudes of the forward propagation mode and backward-propagation mode before the
ith uniform sections. The elements in the transfer matrix are represented as;

Where, z is the length of the ith uniform section, is the imaginary part for which and
represent the complex conjugate. The output amplitude are obtained by multiplying all the matrices for individual sections as [2]

Where output amplitudes for then on-uniform FBG are obtained by applying the boundary
conditions, R0 = R(L) = 1 and S0 = S(L) = 0. The amplitude reflection coefficient and the power reflection

are calculated by the transfer matrix method. This happens to be alternative mathematical behavior of FBG. It can be
concluded that same expression for the reflection coefficient will be obtained with this mathematical expressions developed.


As per the mathematical model discussed, A MATLAB programme was developed considering the parameters of the design of the
grating. Parameters considered are the Bragg wavelength which is called design lambda in the simulation, effective refractive index neff
of the grating, (which is calculated by the ncore and n cladding which are the core and cladding refractive index of the grating structure),
grating spacing pitch, ac and dc coupling coefficients. The aim of MATLAB programme was to plot the reflectivity of the grating for the
variations of the design lambda around the Bragg wavelength visualized and graphs are plotted below for various value of the design
lambda (Bragg wavelength).
Simulated results for design lambda = 1500 nm, 1550 nm, 1600nm, 1625nm and 1650 nm is plotted and the reflectivity
value for respective values are high indicating that the reflection energy is maximum for those respective value and slight variation in the
Bragg wavelength decreases the value of reflectivity of grating indicating there will be side lobes in the reflectivity v/s wavelength
graph. Respective plots are as shown in the fig4,fig5,fig6 and fig7 as indicated below:
Similarly as a next simulation parameter grating length was considered to be a parameter of simulation. In the simulations, a grating
length L = 0.200 and 0.300 were considered and their respective effects on the reflection wavelengths were considered and plots have
been obtained by simulations as given below:

It can been from the plots side lobes amplitudes and shape changes as the grating length change. Since grating length is a important
parameter of design of Bragg grating changes in this parameter causes perturbations in reflection spectra as visualized in fig8 and fig9
respectively. Further in the mathematical model reflection coefficient and its variations on the shape reflected spectrum is considered. To
vary the reflection coefficient, induced index change has to be varied and for values of dn= 2.0e-4 and 3.0e-4 are considered and plotted
in the below figures 10 and 11 as shown:

When Lambda changes then the parameter sigma changes giving reflection spectra as shown below in figure12

In this work, simulation study of working of Fiber Bragg grating sensor is undertaken. Parameters of mathematical model of FBG
sensors like design lambda, grating length, reflection coefficient and sigma changes are undertaken. Pattern of reflection spectra
variations are plotted against each parameter variations heading. It can be concluded that from this study, FBG will work as per the
model developed. Though in this work the external parameter variations(Pressure, Temperature )have not been considered, it is implied
fact that these variations will result in grating length, reflection coefficient and sigma changes and it is projected that behavior of FBG
will be similar to that what has been captured in this study. It can be concluded that Fiber Bragg grating sensor is apt sensor for capturing
external pressure /temperature variations.
Authors hereby acknowledge the support of M.S.Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore for creating ambience for conducting this

This work has not been funded by any authority or funding agency

Availability of data and material

The article results can be used by any researcher but the software cannot be shared because of the ongoing research work of the author

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