Project Info

Developing a Response-enhancing Optical Fiber Sensor for Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS)

Jeffrey Shragge

Project Goals and Description:

Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) uses low-power lasers and glass-core fiber optic cable to monitor subtle dynamic deformations. DAS has proven useful for many solid earth applications, including well monitoring in oil and gas, detecting and locating earthquakes, urban monitoring, and others. However, because DAS measurements are proportional to along-fiber strain-rate of pre-configured lengths, it has found limited success in applications which require broadside sensitivity or sensitivity to wavelengths shorter than the sensing length. In this project, we propose developing “composite” sensors, composed of fiber optical cable and manufactured material, to overcome these difficulties, particularly for monitoring pressure wavefields in fluids (air and water). The bulk of the work will include designing, modeling, and fabricating objects which will improve the fiber’s response. So, if you have ever wanted to use small glass tubes, lasers, and 3D printed material to make a cool microphone … this project is for you!

More Information:

Grand Challenge: Engineer the tools of scientific discovery.

Primary Contacts:

Jeffrey Shragge | Derrick Chambers

Student Preparation


An interest in prototyping and fabrication (3D printing in particular), a basic understanding of mechanics and vibration, ability to model materials subjected to pressure waves. Students in Geophysics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and allied fields are encouraged to apply!




The student will gain experience with commercial fiber-optic sensing technology and experimental design.


J. Shragge will conduct fortnightly meetings with the successful applicant and provide overall project oversight.  D. Chambers (Geophysics PhD student) will supervise lab activities as well as attending the fortnightly meetings and contributing to overall project supervision.


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