A concentric core optical fiber provides for the simultaneous but independent transmission of signals over a single optical fiber. The concentric optical fiber is constructed of a single-mode or multimode inner optical fiber defined by a core and a cladding of a lower index of refraction than the core and an outer optical fiber defined by additional cladding concentrically disposed around the cladding and of an index of refraction lower than the first mentioned cladding whereby the latter functions as the core of the outer optical fiber. By employing such an optical fiber construction with a single-mode inner core or optical fiber, highly sensitive interferometric and stable less sensitive amplitude based sensors can be placed along the same length of a concentric core optical fiber. Also, by employing the concentric core optical fiber secure telecommunications can be achieved via the inner optical fiber since an intrusion of the concentric optical fiber will first cause a variation in the light being transmitted through the outer optical fiber and this variation of light being used to trigger a suitable alarm indicative of the intrusion.
This invention was made with the support of the United States Government under contract No. DE-AC05-84OR21400 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in this invention.