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Harsh environments (temperature, radiations) effects on silica-based optical fibers and components

Sylvain Girard
J. Perisse
  • Function : Author
Jean-Reynald Macé
  • Function : Author
Aziz Boukenter
P. Paillet
  • Function : Author
M. Gaillardin
  • Function : Author
Youcef Ouerdane


We studied the vulnerability of silica-based optical fibers, sensors and components for integration in existing and future nuclear facilities as part of sensing systems or control-command links for the monitoring of several environmental parameters (like temperature, strain, pressure...) in both nominal and accidental conditions. For such applications, optical fibers present numerous advantages like their high bandwidth, low attenuation, multiplexing capability and their high temperature resistance, ... Furthermore, distributed sensing using the fiber material properties (Raman, Brillouin, Rayleigh) or Fiber-Bragg Gratings as sensing element features adequate spatial resolution of these environmental parameters in such huge facilities. However, the integration of silica-based fibers and systems remains limited by radiation effects, especially for doses exceeding the MGy levels like the ones associated to our studies. Ionizing radiations affect the fiber transmission properties through the Radiation Induced Attenuation (RIA) mechanism. They can also change the structural properties of the amorphous silica glass (density, refractive index,...) degrading the capacity of sensors or components to monitor the changes of the parameter of interest. Mainly, these radiation induced changes are related to the generation of point defects, also called color centers in the silica matrix. Their amplitudes depend on the nature and concentrations of these defects. Since the stability of these centers is strongly temperature dependent, the radiation tolerance of the fiber-based applications has to be ensured for the high temperatures associated with nominal and accidental conditions (from room temperature to more than 700°C). In this work, we characterized the radiation effects in various classes of commercial optical fibers, evaluating their vulnerability as part of fiber-based systems or sensors at the MGy dose level. These experiments combine online radiation testing of the devices over wide spectral ranges with offline spectroscopic studies (Raman, absorption, luminescence, electron paramagnetic resonance) of the radiation induced defects. Temperature annealing effects on the optical fiber responses are also characterized during and after irradiation. Combined influences of temperature and radiation are especially discussed as only a limited number of previous studies covered this aspect and the potential of the different sensor types will be presented based on a review of the 2010-2013 experiments made by the research group.
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Dates and versions

ujm-00845045 , version 1 (16-07-2013)


  • HAL Id : ujm-00845045 , version 1


Sylvain Girard, A. Morana, Claude Marcandella, J. Perisse, Jean-Reynald Macé, et al.. Harsh environments (temperature, radiations) effects on silica-based optical fibers and components. ANIMMA 2013, Jun 2013, Marseille, France. ⟨ujm-00845045⟩
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