Compact FBG sensors control traffic density

FBG sensors for traffic controlA new compact sensing system based on fiber Bragg grating technology has been designed to control urban traffic density up to 80 kph. The sensing technology includes a 2.5-m-long and a 2-cm-high fiber optic sensor made from a combination of silicone addition rubber and fiber Bragg grating put inside a carbon tube.

The design of the compact FBG sensors allows monitoring and detecting the traffic density and car crossing in a single lane. It should be noted that such a sensing system has been already tested in real traffic and demonstrated quite a high detection rate of 98.946% based on the control of 1518 vehicles of various types and sizes.

To be more precise, traffic sensing systems are considered to be special devices that determine input data and information for other transport infrastructure systems. It is possible to install traffic sensors next to, above, into, or onto a road’s surface. The fiber optic sensors control “the presence of a vehicle, vehicle speed, vehicle classification, wheelbase and number of axles, total vehicle weight, road axle load, and occupancy, all of which indicate the traffic flow quality”.

The thing is that sensing systems based on optical fibers provide the following benefits: robustness, precision, high sensitivity, electromagnetic and chemical resistance, electrical passivity, and a broad temperature operating range. Additionally, it is possible to use fiber optic sensors in hybrid systems. The operating principle of fiber sensors is based on transmitting and receiving a laser or infrared beam from an emitter to a receiver.

Another type of fiber optic sensor is distinguished which is a micro-motion one. Such a fiber sensor operates using the increasing of optical fiber attenuation. Herewith, these optical fibers have special protective coatings and they are installed into a roadway. Nevertheless, their application is experimental, and these fiber sensors are not employed in general practice.

Also, the DAS technology (Distributed Acoustic Sensor) can be used for the same purposes. For instance, DAS systems apply a single optical fiber to control multiple traffic parameters, such as detecting a car, its direction, its speed, etc. However, FBG sensors require proper protection in order to avoid damage to the sensors. The use of composite fiber protection to the FBG sensors enables us to successfully solve the current problem.

The high sensitivity of portable FBG sensors and success rates in determination vehicles are regarded as a good supposition for expanding research and future developments for monitoring automotive traffic. Nowadays researchers plan to improve the design of fiber sensors to provide a more stable sensitivity, as well as to expand the determination capabilities of the sensing system, and to produce the sensor for year-round application.

Optromix is a manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for the global market. The company provides the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for the clients. Optromix produces a wide range of fiber optic devices, including cutting-edge customized fiber optic Bragg grating product line and fiber Bragg grating sensor systems. Moreover, Optromix 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

A new application of FBG sensors

new FBG sensorsA team of researchers offers a new application of fiber Bragg grating sensors (FBG sensors) in the construction and characterization of Micro Pattern Gaseous Detector. Such a FBG sensing system includes 144 gas electron multiplier chambers of about 0.5 m2 active area each. It should be noted that FBG technology has been applied in high energy physics only for high precision positioning and re-positioning fiber sensors due to their benefits (low cost, easy installation, low space consumption). Nowadays the most common application of fiber Bragg gratings remains the use for very accurate strain measurements in material studies.

Now FBG technology is used as flatness and mechanical tensioning sensors employed to the wide GEM foils of the GE1/1 chambers. FBG sensor array allows detecting the optimal mechanical tension applied and characterizing the mechanical tension that should be applied to the foils. A new application of FBG sensors has been already tested and demonstrated great results that can determine a standard assembly procedure and possible future developments.

Fiber Bragg gratings are considered to be a type of distributed Bragg reflector, developed by a short segment of optical fiber that enables one to reflect certain wavelengths of light and transmit all others. The operating principle of FBG sensors is based on “the creation of a periodic variation in the refractive index of the fiber core, which generates a wavelength-specific dielectric mirror”. Thus, the FBG sensing system can be applied as a strain measurement device because changes in fiber Bragg gratings lead to various light frequency responses.

One more application of FBG sensors in GEM chamber construction includes the opportunity to be applied as a load gauge for accurate measurement of the tensile load employed to the foils, of the various layers, at the same moment. The thing is that this FBG application plays a crucial role in the case of the GE1/1 chambers because the foils are stretched through screwing nuts with a dynamometric screwdriver during their assembly procedure, therefore, it is necessary to know accurately how much to strain the foils to escape to stretch them too much.

The testing of fiber Bragg grating sensors consist of proper stretching of the GE1/1 GEM stack, then the researchers removed a single stretching screw from the chamber and replaced it with an eyelet screw with installed stainless steel wire applied to set various weights. Additionally, it was necessary to add weights in different steps until they applied load achieves in the fiber Bragg gratings facing the eyelet the same response as when stretching of the GEMs occurs by the traditional screw.

Finally, the technology of FBG sensors is regarded as a highly reliable glue-less technique that offers the correct tensioning of the three GEM foils. The correct tension across the GEM stack leads to uniform gaps resulting in the required performance of the detector. Moreover, FBG sensors operate successfully as load gauges for accurate detection of the used stretching force to GEM foils.

Optromix is a manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for the global market. The company provides the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for the clients. Optromix produces a wide range of fiber optic devices, including cutting-edge customized fiber optic Bragg grating product line and fiber Bragg grating sensor systems. Moreover, Optromix 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

Fiber optic sensors based on the vapor deposited conducting polymer

polymer FBG sensorsA team of researchers from Australia has developed a mathematical model, which is based on energy deposition and the laser-induced damage threshold (LIDT) for low-intensity light radiation resulting in the appearance of conducting polymers in novel fiber optic sensing applications.

It should be noted that nowadays polymer features are regarded as one of the most potentials and studied CP’s, herewith, the material may find numerous applications such as light-emitting diodes (OLED), optical displays, photovoltaic devices, and fiber optic sensors.

The thing is that the poly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene) is almost visibly transparent in its doped state, while it converts into an opaque material (dark blue) in the dedoped state, thus, making the polymer ideal for optical applications, for instance, in electrochromic devices and optical fiber sensors.

The interaction between light and the sensing material plays a crucial role in fiber optic sensing. To be more precise, there is a reaction between the sensing material and an external stimulus, therefore, it becomes possible to interrogate and measure the change, linking the optical fiber measurement to the external stimuli. 

Optical fibers are considered to be an ideal example of a way to send light to a volume or point of interest for fiber optic sensing. Usually, “optical material is coated on the side or at the tip of the fiber, which are typically inorganic material”. Numerous recent sensing applications (temperature sensors, hydrogen sensors, and polymer functionalization of exposed-core microstructured optical fibers) include fiber tip fabrication and side coating.

Thus, the researchers present a new fiber optic sensing architecture based on coating the tip of an optical fiber with the vapor-deposited conducting polymer. They confirm that such fiber optic sensors enable us to study the unique electrochemical properties of PEDOT: Tos at the sub-micron length scale. Additionally, the polymer material can be integrated with optical waveguides (optical fibers as well) resulting in a range of electro-optical devices.

Optical fibers provide such benefits as immunity to electromagnetic fields, the possibility for in-vivo, and distributed measurements with the electrochemical properties of poly((3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene). Also, the researchers prepare a technique to gradually deposit PEDOT: Tos layers with desired thicknesses on the tip of optical fibers to produce such a fiber optic sensor.

Finally, the fiber optic technology was tested, and the polymer material was deposited at the tip of cleaned and cleaved SMF-28 optical fiber. Moreover, the deposition technique is based on 4 steps: “ 1. Oxidant solution preparation, 2. Oxidant coating and splitting at the tip of the fiber, 3. VPP process and 4. Washing of unbound and unreacted monomers”.

Optromix is a manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for the global market. The company provides the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for the clients. Optromix produces a wide range of fiber optic devices, including cutting-edge customized fiber optic Bragg grating product line and fiber Bragg grating sensor systems. Moreover, Optromix 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