Fiber optic sensors for metal ions detection

FBG sensor for metal detectionFluorescent fiber optic sensors find their popularity in online and in-situ detection of metal ions. These fiber sensors allow for predicting and preventing the environmental problems caused by the ions. To be more precise, this type of sensor is different from refractometer-based ones. The fluorescent fiber optic sensors have a simple structure and their properties play a crucial role in sensing performance.

It should be noted that metal ions cause heavy metal pollution resulting in significant harm to the environment and people. Nowadays metal pollution is regarded as a serious worldwide problem. Therefore, the problem requires quick and effective sensing systems to determine the level of metal ions pollution. The use of fiber optic sensors is a perfect solution.

Some researchers propose the use of fluorescent materials in the new fiber sensors. They claim that fluorescent optical fibers enable them to transmit valuable data for real-time sensing process. Additionally, these fiber optic sensors offer such advantages as long-life span and immunity to electromagnetic interference. The is the main reason why fluorescence sensing systems are ideal in field and emergency analysis.

The design of the fluorescent fiber sensors includes “an excitation light source, an optical fiber with the sensor probe, a spectrometer, and a computer.” The operating principle is based on the excitation light that expands along the fiber and the fiber optic sensor to obtain a fluorescent response back. Moreover, the researchers confirm that some biomaterials can collect heavy metal ions.

Thus, it is possible to apply their derivatives as fluorescent sensing systems. Recently researchers have created several fiber sensors based on fluorescent materials to detect metal ions that include the following:

  • Protein labeled sensing systems

It is not a novel type of fiber optic sensor, it has appeared almost 20 years ago. Protein labeled sensors do not depend on the fluorescent membrane and only transmit the light.

  • Nucleic acid-based fiber sensors

These sensors provide a high level of sensitivity and specificity. Also, nucleic acid-based sensing systems are very promising for on-site environmental monitoring. 

  • Luminescent nanomaterials-based fiber optic sensors

Even though they have more benefits than other types, these sensors demonstrate high selectivity at a minority of metal ions.

Finally, the mentioned above fiber optic solutions are very potential for the detection of metal ions, for example, in environmental water samples. Nevertheless, the sensing system is not ideal and has some problems to be overcome. 

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, fbg strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at info@optromix.com

Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) for vibration detection

DAS for vibration detectionThe thing is that human hearing is actually limited. Nonetheless, the technology of Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) allows for detecting ground vibrations that are difficult to hear. Therefore, DAS systems perform analysis of seismic signals produced by people, animals, or even vehicles, etc.

To be more precise, DAS technology collects acoustic data with the help of fiber optic cables. Herewith, distributed acoustic sensing records signals and the backscatter pattern that can be analyzed later. For instance, distributed acoustic sensors can detect various environmental conditions – earthquake and hydrological activity, wind and weather events, and more.

It should be noted that virtually any fiber cable can be used as an acoustic sensor thanks to DAS technology. The thing is that it needs limited power, and the DAS is immune to electromagnetic and radiofrequency interference. This is the reason why distributed acoustic sensors can be applied for long-term, persistent monitoring in difficult-to-reach places.

The most popular DAS applications include the oil and gas industry where acoustic sensors are used to monitor pipeline leakage and seismic activities. Additionally, DAS systems perform perimeter security and smart city applications and control traffic and assets.

A company-manufacturer of fiber optic solutions from the U.S. has presented a new project for existing fiber cables. They test DAS technology to improve its sensitivity and resolution. Thus, new DAS applications would appear to offer a greater understanding of acoustic signals.

Thus, DAS helps to detect cattle movement in an agricultural experimental station. The existing fiber optic cables record four main signal types: cattle movement, earthquake and wind activities, and human traffic. Herewith, the researchers claim that it is very easy to turn existing cables into acoustic sensors of high efficiency.

In the nearest future, distributed acoustic sensors can be used for the detection of geological, hydrological, meteorological, and biological (human and animal) activity.  During the tests, DAS systems have provided a greater understanding of the movements of cattle and people in the land.

Distributed acoustic sensing demonstrates a high level of efficiency. “DAS using fiber optic cables could prove to be an effective solution for monitoring the movement of livestock and wildlife and weather events such as high winds, storms, and lightning in remote locations.” Moreover, the same technique can be useful for other applications mentioned above. Even though DAS technology still needs to be improved, it is planned to be used to test new analytical techniques and devices.

Optromix is a DAS system manufacturer that provides top of the line distributed acoustic sensing systems suitable for monitoring of commerce networks. If you have any questions or would like to buy a DAS system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

Fiber optic sensors for deformation detection

Fiber optic sensors for deformation detectionThe development of stretchable fiber optic sensors promotes changing the operation of soft robots and smart systems. Recently, a team of scientists from the U.S. has developed a distributed fiber sensor that uses low-cost LEDs and dyes. The developed fiber optic sensors are stretchable and allow for finding different deformations (strain, pressure, bending).

To be more precise, these distributed sensors can be applied in soft robotic systems and augmented reality technology. The fiber optic sensors offer the opportunity to feel the same tactile sensations as animals use to navigate the natural world. The ability to determine deformations(for instance, strain, pressure, and bending) makes it possible to find exact locations.

The scientists claim that such a fiber optic technology will be useful for applications in sports medicine and physical therapy. The development of fiber sensors is based on previous technology, “in which light was sent through an optical waveguide, and a photodiode detected changes in the beam’s intensity to determine when the material was deformed.” Then numerous similar sensing systems have been created.

It should be noted that the operating principle is based on silica-based distributed fiber sensors. The distributed fiber optic sensors allow for recording the slightest wavelength shifts to determine, for example,  changes in humidity, temperature, and strain. Nevertheless, silica optical fibers are not efficient with soft and stretchable devices.

Herewith, it is easy to deform soft materials in difficult-to-reach areas. Therefore, scientists develop a fiber sensor that can overcome these challenges. The new fiber optic system consists of a stretchable light guide for multimodal sensing. The two cores of optical fiber are made of polyurethane elastomeric. The first core is transparent, the second has dyed.

A pair of cores in distributed fiber optic sensors increase the number of outputs. They, in turn, help to find various deformations, their exact location, and magnitudes. Compared to standard distributed sensors, new sensing systems do not need high-resolution detection equipment.

Stretchable fiber optic sensors apply small optoelectronics with a lower resolution. Thus, they have a lower cost, simple manufacturing, and can be easily installed into small systems. Moreover, it is possible to wear this fiber optic technology. For example, scientists have installed these fiber sensors in a 3D-printed glove.

Finally, this fiber optic technology allows scientists to measure tactile interactions in real life. Additionally, the team finds the way how distributed fiber optic sensors can advances virtual and augmented reality experiences. The thing is that these systems’ operation is based on motion capture, and fiber sensors can add new experiences.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, fbg strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at info@optromix.com

Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) in oceanography

DTS in oceanographyThe technology of distributed temperature sensing (DTS) is based on the application of Raman scattering from a laser beam light through optical fibers to detect temperature parameters along a fiber optic cable. The thing is that temperature resolution plays a crucial role. Herewith, this feature makes it possible to efficiently use DTS systems in oceanography.

Even though oceanographic applications of distributed temperature sensing are not new but such observations are not often. The reason is the serious challenges of deployment, calibration, and operation in oceanographic environment conditions. Nevertheless, researchers have tested the DTS system to overcome oceanographic configuration, calibration, and data processing difficulties.

It should be noted that they also evaluate temperature errors of DTS for several common scenarios. Difficult conditions influence the whole process, thus, the researchers look for alternative calibration, analysis, and deployment methods for distributed temperature sensing.

Therefore, these errors will be reduced and the successful application of DTS systems will be increased in dynamic ocean conditions. The thing is that DTS technology allows for “continuously sampling at a relatively high temporal and spatial resolution for significant duration over broad spatial scales.”

Despite distributed temperature sensing is widely applied in environmental applications, the oceanographic area remains challenging and still relatively rare. The main purpose of new DTS development is the solution to common problems present in oceanographic deployments.

To be more precise, the researchers use 2 various DTS systems, 3 fiber optic cables, and 24 thermistors. All of them help to test cables and different calibration configurations and perform distributed temperature sensing. Test results enable them to improve future oceanographic deployments. Moreover, they aid to achieve the best possible temperature signal in difficult deployment and operational environments.

DTS technology is a relatively new oceanographic tool. It allows for detecting temperature across wide spatial and temporal scales. Herewith, the application of such a fragile DTS system in remote and dynamically complex conditions remains difficult. Moreover, sometimes it is impossible to perform distributed temperature sensing at all.

Additionally, DTS systems face challenges during the detection of air/sea boundary. The reason is the change of water level, for instance, tides, waves, surge, etc., when the fiber optic cable can be exposed. Finally, the new DTS has succeeded to detect the temperature variance between the air-sea interface.

If you want to obtain a highly efficient distributed temperature sensing system, you should choose the Optromix company. Optromix is a manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for the global market. The company provides the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) products line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) systems, distributed temperature sensing (DTS) systems. If you are interested in DTS systems and want to learn more, please contact us at info@optromix.com

Fiber optic sensors for smart battery charge

FBG sensors for battery chargeRecently a team of scientists from an American research center has presented a fiber optic technology used to create a battery management system applying embedded fiber optic sensors and machine learning. The thing is that the combination of fiber sensors and machine learning allows for developing more efficient and low-cost designs of smart battery charge management systems.

The important fact is that scientists pay careful attention to lithium-ion battery packs applied in hybrid and electric devices. Therefore, these fiber optic sensors allow for monitoring cell degradation and health data and predicting remaining battery life. Moreover, the fiber sensors have been already tested and demonstrated high precision across different use-cases at both the cell and module levels.

The operating principle of such a fiber optic system is based on the wavelength-shift detection technology that “measures the signals from fiber sensors installed within the active chemistry of the battery.” The fiber optic system has a resolution of 30fm and the KHz speed leading to obtaining the data about the charge’s state and failure warning.

Additionally, a read-out device records these data. Then machine learning algorithms evaluate it to offer real-time performance management of battery charge. Recently, the tests of fiber optic sensors have been finished at the module level of electric car batteries after tests on individual lithium-ion cells. According to the test results, these fiber sensors enable to decrease in the form factor of hybrid and electric car batteries by more than 25% leading to low-cost manufacturing at the same energy density.

Nevertheless, the team plans to perform additional testing and research to learn how to scale the fiber optic technology for larger batteries. Thus, scientists want to use original equipment manufacturers to examine the fiber optic system installed in hybrid and electric vehicles and to open new applications of fiber optic sensors for various energy and structural systems.

The thing is that the developed fiber sensors are regarded as a part of the energy technology program that aims at developing clean and abundant energy for a wide range of applications. Finally, the team paid attention to chemical energy storage for hybrid and electric systems, consumer electronics, and the electrical grid; advanced energy conversion devices; wireless fiber sensors; and advanced analytics before the novel fiber optic technology to increase energy utilization.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, fbg strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at info@optromix.com