Intruder signature analysis from a phase-sensitive distributed fiber-optic perimeter sensor - art. no. 6770OK Conference Paper uri icon


  • Using a phase-sensitive optical time-domain reflectometer developed at Texas A&M University, this paper reports on recent advances in intruder detection and classificatoin for long perimeters or borders. The system uses light pulses from a narrow linewidth CW laser with low frequency drift to interrogate an optical fiber. The backscattered light is detected, and real-time processing of the received signal is performed. Signatures from single and multiple humans on foot, nearby vehicle traffic on a road, construction-like vehicle activity, and animals have been obtained. Individual footsteps are clearly identified and the cadence readily observed. Time-frequency plots are used to compare the signatures. The detected signal contains information regarding the weight of the intruder as well. An adult weighing around 60kg may produce several -radian shifts in the optical phase, which is detected by the system. While distances up to 20km have been monitored in previous remote field tests, we report measurements on a local test site with a total fiber length of 12km. A 3-mm diameter fiber cable is buried at a depth of 20-46 cm over a distance of 44m, with a 2km spool of fiber attached prior to the buried fiber and a 10km fiber spool connected in series after the buried section. Recent advances in data acquisition and signal processing allow us to avoid false alarms due to drifts in the laser center frequency and greatly improve the probability of detection. With these advancements, this technology is prime for low-cost perimeter monitoring of high-value and high-security installations such as nuclear power plants and military bases as well as national borders.

name of conference

  • Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications V

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Madsen, C. K., Bae, T., & Snider, T.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Madsen, CK||Bae, T||Snider, T

editor list (cited editors)

  • Udd, E.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007 11:11 AM