Their unique features (electric insulation, multiplexing capability, as well as their capability to operate at high temperatures) make these technological platforms "unrivaled," when compared to their traditional electrical counterparts. However, an open point still stands and severely limits the complete exploitation of this technology in smart oilfield applications: How does one achieve larger bandwidths without causing unavoidable sensitivity limitations? A solution to this unsolved question would open new avenues for next generation fiber optic seismic accelerometers with unprecedented transient response accuracy.
Tao Qingchang and co-workers have recently proposed a new solution to significantly enlarge the system bandwidth without impacting the overall sensitivity of fiber optic seismic accelerometers. In their study, the authors propose a shock-absorbing ring embedded in the accelerometer structure to act as a mechanical anti-resonator. The main outcome of this new design is a damping factor enhancement of more than one order of magnitude and a resonance suppression by more than 20 dB, featuring a significant bandwidth extension without reducing the average sensitivity pertaining to the flat spectral response of the optical accelerometer. Under this condition, the authors experimentally demonstrated an unprecedented transient response accuracy in the vibration-event test carried out by using a commercial piezo-electric accelerometer as a benchmark. This study sets a new milestone along the technological roadmap pertaining to the development of next generation fiber optic seismic accelerometers for vertical seismic profiling in smart oilfield applications.
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