Recently, a modal domain optical fiber sensor has been demonstrated as a sensor in a control system for vibration suppression of a flexible cantilevered beam. This sensor responds to strain through a mechanical attachment to the structure. Because this sensor is of the interferometric type, the output of the sensor has a sinusoidal nonlinearity. For small levels of strain, the sensor can be operated in its linear region. For large levels of strain, the detection electronics can be configured to count fringes. In both of these configurations, the sensor nonlinearity imposes some restrictions on the performance of the control system. In this paper we investigate the effects of these sensor nonlinearities on the control system, and identify the region of linear operation in terms of the optical fiber sensor parameters.

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