High-resolution multi-component distributed acoustic sensing

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Distributed acoustic sensing uses an optical fibre together with an interrogator unit to perform strain measurements. The usage of distributed acoustic sensing in geophysics is attractive due to its dense spatial sampling and low operation cost if the optical fibre is freely accessible. In the borehole environment, optical fibres for distributed acoustic sensing are often readily available as a part of other sensing tools, such as for temperature and pressure. Although the distributed acoustic sensing system promises great potential for reservoir monitoring and surface seismic acquisition, the single axial strain measurement of distributed acoustic sensing along the fibre is inadequate to fully characterise the different wave modes, thus making reservoir characterisation challenging. We propose an acquisition system using five equally spaced helical optical fibres and a straight optical fibre to obtain six different strain projections. This system allows us to reconstruct all components of the 3D strain tensor at any location along the fibre. Analysing the condition number associated with the geometry of the optical fibre, we can systematically search for the optimum design parameters for our configuration. Numerical examples demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method to successful reconstruction of the full strain tensor from elastic wavefields of arbitrary complexity.

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