A novel configuration has been developed to optimize the response of Brillouin echoes for distributed fibre sensing. Fully resolved measurements of the Brillouin frequency shift of a 5cm spot perturbation have been performed using a 500 ps (5cm) pulse width. The linewidth of the measured Brillouin gain spectrum remains comparable to the intrinsic linewidth for any pulse width. The high accuracy and inherent stability of the technique have been successfully verified.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.