Non-contacting interferometric fiber optic sensors offer a minimally invasive, high-accuracy means of measuring a
structure's kinematic response to loading. The performance of interferometric sensors is often dictated by the technique
employed for demodulating the kinematic measurand of interest from phase in the observed optical signal. In this paper a
white-light extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometer is implemented, offering robust displacement sensing performance.
Displacement data is extracted from an estimate of the power spectral density, calculated from the interferometer's
received optical power measured as a function of optical transmission frequency, and the sensor's performance is
dictated by the details surrounding the implementation of this power spectral density estimation.
One advantage of this particular type of interferometric sensor is that many of its control parameters (e.g., frequency
range, frequency sampling density, sampling rate, etc.) may be chosen to so that the sensor satisfies application-specific
performance needs in metrics such as bandwidth, axial displacement range, displacement resolution, and accuracy. A
suite of user-controlled input values is investigated for estimating the spectrum of power versus wavelength data, and the
relationships between performance metrics and input parameters are described in an effort to characterize the sensor's
operational performance limitations. This work has been approved by Los Alamos National Laboratory for unlimited
public release (LA-UR 12-01512).