A birefringence insensitive fiber optic optical coherence domain reflectometry (OCDR) system is provided containing non-polarization maintaining (non-PM) fiber in the sample arm and the reference arm without suffering from signal degradation caused by birefringence. The use of non-PM fiber significantly reduces the cost of the OCDR system and provides a disposable or multiplexed section of the sample arm. The dispersion in the reference arm and sample arm of the OCDR system are matched to achieve high resolution imaging. This system is useful in medical applications or for non-medical in situ probes. The disposable section of non-PM fiber in the sample arm can be conveniently replaced when contaminated by a sample or a patient.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.