Advances in Manufacturing Fiber Optic Gyroscopes

FBG sensors for gyroscopesMeasurement of angular velocity is useful in many different applications, from missile navigation to motion control. There are three broad categories of possible sensors for angular velocity: Ring Laser Gyroscopes (RLG), Fiber Optic Gyroscopes (FOG), and MEMs-based Gyroscopes. The former two utilize the Sagnac effect to measure velocity and are much more sensitive compared to MEMs gyroscopes. A fiber optic gyroscope (FOG) is a  device that senses changes in orientation using the Sagnac effect. Such a fiber optic device performs the function of a mechanical gyroscope. However, it should be noted, its fiber optic solution is instead based on the interference of light which has passed through a coil of optical fiber that can be as long as 5 km.

What is the principle of the fiber optic gyroscope? Two laser beams are injected into the same optical fiber but in opposite directions. The beam that moves against the rotation experiences a slightly shorter path delay than the other beam due to the Sagnac effect. The resulting differential phase shift is measured through interferometry. This phase shift translates one component of the angular velocity into a shift of the interference pattern which is measured photometrically. The strength of the Sagnac effect is dependent on the effective area of the closed optical path: this is not simply the geometric area of the loop but is enhanced by the member of turns in the coil.

Victor Vali and Richard Shorthill demonstrated an operational fiber optic gyroscope for the first time in 1976. In that same year, McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co. in Huntington Beach, CA, completed a project to redesign a new, lower-cost inertial measurement unit for the Delta rocket based on dry-tuned mechanical gyros. The technology supporting early efforts in the field of fiber optic gyroscopes were fiber optic products derived from the Sagnac interferometer. The first sensor of this type was the Sagnac acoustic sensor. Another derivative sensor is the Sagnac strain sensor. Nowadays, the Sagnac interferometer continues to be a useful tool for a variety of sensing and communication applications. One principal advantage of the Sagnac acoustic and distributed sensors is that they can be supported by very low-cost single-mode optical fiber. This opens up a number of interesting applications, including identifying leaks in pressurized pipes and containers, identifying the location of insects in grain storage facilities, and locating termites in wood.

Fiber optic gyroscopes are robust apparatus for measuring angular velocity. It is interesting that fiber optic gyroscopes are instruments where merely improving the processing of the incoming sensor signal can yield more stability, linearity, and sensitivity.

Optromix, Inc. is a U.S. manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for the global market, based in Cambridge, MA. Our team always strives to provide the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for our clients. Our main goal is to deliver the best quality fiber optic products to our clients. We produce a wide range of fiber optic devices, including our cutting-edge customized fiber optic Bragg grating product line and fiber Bragg grating sensor systems. Optromix, Inc. is a top choice among the manufacturers of fiber optic devices. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@optromix.com

Pipeline Monitoring with Fiber Optic Sensors

FBG sensors for pipeline monitoringFiber optic products were invented to carry big amounts of voice data over long distances very efficiently. Improvements in fiber optic pipeline monitoring have led to the fact that now we know fiber optic cables as an actual sensor. This fbg sensor is equipped with the ability to measure parameters such as acoustic energy, temperature, strain, vibration, and suchlike. The capability of continuously gathering data about these parameters over several kilometers of fiber simultaneously is called distributed monitoring. Fiber pipeline leak detection and prevention, asset and perimeter security, and precise fluid flow measurements.

Pipelines are very efficient and safe means of transportation. The number of leaks could be reduced since the early ’70s of the last century due to improved design and maintenance procedures as well as improved materials, but leaks still appear. Most of these are originated by external causes such as digging excavators or slope movements despite intensive pipeline right of way surveillance by foot, car, and out of the air. These events are a clear sign for a monitoring gap. The technical evolution of fiber optic products allows closing large parts of this monitoring gap.

Pipelines are part of the backbone of modern communities’ lifestyles and are absolutely indispensable for the transportation of water, gas, oil, and all kinds of products. Fiber optic devices are standard equipment for the transmission of voice, video, and other data. Fiber optic systems are frequently installed along pipelines and often used to enable communication between and remote control of the individual station of the system. The same standard optical fibers are suitable to measure several physical effects with high absolute and local accuracy.

Fiber optic products are almost ideal for many types of fiber optic pipeline monitoring applications and several of these applications have been implemented during recent years all over the industry. So here are some examples:

  • Leak detection
  • Ground movement detection and Structural health monitoring
  • Third-party activities
  • Fire detection
  • Power cable and Transformer monitoring
  • Status monitoring of water mains
  • Pig position detection

In other words, many different applications have already been implemented in the industry and constantly ideas for new applications are being created.

Optromix, Inc. is a U.S. manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for the global market, based in Cambridge, MA. Our team always strives to provide the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for our clients. Our main goal is to deliver the best quality fiber optic products to our clients. We produce a wide range of fiber optic devices, including our cutting-edge customized fiber optic Bragg grating product line and fiber Bragg grating sensor systems. Optromix, Inc. is a top choice among the manufacturers of fiber optic monitoring systems. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@optromix.com

Fiber optics for Telecommunications

FBGs in telecommunicationsThe uses of optical fiber today are quite numerous. With the explosion of information traffic due to the Internet, electronic commerce, computer networks, multimedia, voice, data, and video, the need for a transmission medium with the bandwidth capabilities for handling such vast amounts of information is paramount. Fiber optic devices, with its comparatively infinite bandwidth, has proven to be the solution.

Fiber optic products are a major building block in the telecommunication infrastructure. High bandwidth capabilities and low attenuation characteristics of fiber optic devices make it ideal for gigabit transmission and beyond. The growth of the fiber optics industry over the past five years has been explosive. Analysts expect that this industry will continue to grow at a tremendous rate well, into the next decade and beyond.

The telecommunications industry is made up of many types of companies at different levels within the industry. These companies make products and/or provide modern technology (VoIP, CATV, HDTV, security, and suchlike) to the end-user (residential, business, and institutional).

Fiber optic systems have many advantages over metallic-based communication systems:

  • long-distance signal transmission
  • large bandwidth, low weight, and small diameter
  • nonconductivity (since optical fiber has no metallic components, it can be installed in areas with electromagnetic interference (EMI), including radio frequency interference (RFI)
  • security
  • designed for future applications needs

As the industry of fiber optic products continues to grow, frustrating bottlenecks in the “information superhighway” will lessen, which will in turn usher in the next generation of services, such as telemedicine, Internet telephony, distance education, e-commerce, and high-speed data and video.  

Optromix, Inc. is a U.S. manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for the global market, based in Cambridge, MA. Our team always strives to provide the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for our clients. Our main goal is to deliver the best quality fiber optic products to our clients. We produce a wide range of fiber optic devices, including our cutting-edge customized fiber optic Bragg grating product line and fiber Bragg grating sensor systems. Optromix, Inc. is a top choice among the manufacturers of fiber Bragg grating monitoring systems. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@optromix.com