Photonic Sensors: Technology and Applications for Safety Monitoring

Nowadays, photonics is an important part of the innovation-driven growth in an increasing number of fields. The application of photonics is distributed across several sectors: from optical data communications to imaging, lighting, and displays; from the manufacturing sector to life sciences, health care, security, and safety.

Photonic sensors have been designed for use in laboratories and industrial environments in order to detect a wide range of physical, biological, and chemical parameters. Photonics sensors can be defined as the set of techniques and scientific knowledge concerning the generation, propagation, control, amplification, detection, storage, and processing of the optical spectrum signals. In recent years, photonic sensors have been recognized as the technology that improves, extends across, and strengthens a wide variety of industrial sectors: healthcare, security, manufacturing, telecommunications, environment, aerospace, and biotechnology.

The photonic sensors market is classified generally by types and photonics applications. Type wise consist of fiber optic sensors, laser-based sensors, and biophotonic sensors. Application-wise, it is divided into construction, energy industry, oil and gas, military and aerospace, medical and industrial application. The photonic sensors market is diversified and fragmented. Photonic technology also has found a use for the industry, surgeries, and ordinary life besides its use in research laboratories.

The photonic sensors market is slowly moving from making general objectives to complicated tasks such as aircraft manufacturing applications that prescribed maximum precision. The usage of photonic sensing technology is increased in early detection and early-warning systems for biological hazards, structural flaws, and security threats. Sensors play a major role in the near future and, especially, in different photonic applications in the generation, distribution, and conservation of energy, as well as in the mitigation of the effects of energy production and consumption on the environment.

The photonic industry now is centering on the development of eco-efficient products that are projected to be developed and launched over the next few years. The need for enhanced safety and security solutions, better alternatives for conventional technology, and a rise in wireless sensing technology are some of the major factors that act as drivers for the photonic sensor market.

Optical fiber sensor technology and energy engineering

The power industry is one of the major markets for optical fiber sensor technologies. Most of the research and developments are currently done specifically for this sector. Fiber optic sensors have key advantages for this industry: they can monitor very lengthy facilities and it is completely resistant to electromagnetic waves.

Various new optical fiber sensor technologies are being developed right now. The hydro filter system, distributed thermal monitoring system, the current sensor (alternating and direct current), and high-frequency accelerometer are among them. Hydro filter system performs filtering processes that take place in a multileveled foundation of the facility. The real-time data obtained with the fiber optic filter, the data is analyzed and compared with the calculations done when the facility was designed. The fiber optic filter system is universal and may be used for industrial and civil engineering. Fiber optic filter controls the processes of temperature shift in closed and opened locations with limited access and in remote destinations. Moreover, fiber optic filter allows controlling several objects that have different sophistication levels with only one sensing element.

The hydro-technical cable contains the core of the modular construction with the central power element made of the dielectric rod. Optic modules are tied around the rod and an isolated copper electrical conductor is wrapped around them to ensure the constant temperature level inside the construction. This kind of fiber optic equipment allows increasing the sensitivity of the construction. Water blocking materials used inside the cable make it waterproof. Steep armor protects the fiber optic equipment from hundreds of kilos of steady-state pressure.

Monitoring boosters are also possible with the sensors of temperature and vibration. The temperature sensor is located in the liquid refrigerating agent at the top of the booster; this sensor may also serve as an alarm for when the liquid agent reaches the critical level.

There are many more different applications of optic fiber sensor technologies in the power industry. In Optromix Company we offer the highest quality product and we will deliver the fiber optic equipment according to your specific needs.

FBG monitoring systems for hydraulic structures

Any sophisticated construction requires constant tracking of its technical condition to detect inconsistencies between the projected calculations and the actual working parameters and to evaluate its compliance to the established standard. Currently, the most used sensors to monitor hydraulic structures are stringer transducers that perform very well under various climate conditions, especially in the areas of deep-frozen soil. However, the increasing sophistication of modern constructions is more demanding in terms of monitoring standards. Often it is no longer sufficient to use regular sensors. Hence, a new type of monitoring with fiber optic devices was created.

The length of these constructions and its complex structure demand special fiber optic devices monitor its safety. One of the most complicated constructions to place the fiber optic solutions is a hydro-electric power station. FBG sensors can be placed in the structures where regular stringer transducers fail, for example, in long shafts and tunnels. On top of that, fiber optic solutions are completely fire-safe, resistant to electromagnetic fields and radiation, and other interferences.

Tunnels in hydro-electric power stations can be equipped with the following fiber optic devices: FBG sensors for deformation, temperature, displacement, and pressure sensors. The deformation sensor is measuring the condition of the steel reinforcing, and it embedded on its surface. The sensor is covered with the isolating material to avoid the impact of the concrete. An additional temperature sensor is installed in the same location to track temperature changes that affect deformation. A displacement sensor is used to measure the joint opening between steel compression and a ram. The pressure sensor is used to measure the water pressure in the tunnel.

Optromix offers a variety of fiber optic solutions, and we will write a tailored FBG based on your specific needs.