Abstract

A polarization model for a helically wound optical fiber is presented. The model is based on a Mueller-matrix formalism that includes the effects of the winding configuration of the optical fiber on the polarization properties. A comparison between experimental polarimetric data for short lengths of polarization-maintaining optical fiber wound in a helical configuration upon the surface of a shell and the polarization model is presented. The effects of static radial displacements of a cylindrical shell are considered. Finally, the model is used to predict the effects of a range of displacements on the polarization properties of the transmitted light, hence demonstrating its use as a design tool for polarimetric sensors utilizing nontrivial geometric configurations.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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