Abstract

A small-diameter polarization-maintaining photonic crystal fiber (PM-PCF) for mini coils of spaceborne miniature fiber-optic gyroscopes is proposed in this paper. To ensure the strength of the small-diameter PM-PCF, a four-ring air holes structure is adopted. Using the full vector finite element method, dependence studies of modal field distribution, birefringence, and confinement loss on several key structure parameters are numerically investigated. The optimized parameter region is obtained. An optimized PM-PCF is fabricated, which can achieve similar to or even better optical properties than that of commercial PM-PCFs. The coating and cladding diameters of the optimized PM-PCF are 135 μm and 100 μm, respectively. Meanwhile, the optimized small-diameter PM-PCF shows a proof test level of 0.5%. The attenuation of the PM-PCF at 1550 nm is 2dB/km. Typical volume of a mini coil wound with 300 m optimized PM-PCF is 5.9cm3, which is decreased by 60% compared with a commercial PM-PCF coil of the same length. The bias stability of this coil is comparable with that of a conventional PMF coil of comparable length. Thus, the optimized small-diameter PM-PCF is suitable for mini coils of spaceborne miniature fiber-optic gyroscopes.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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