Fiber optic sensors are a modern technology that helps in shape and temperature measurements in various spheres and industries, for example, civil structures, aircraft, medicine, etc. Scientists from all over the world aim to create the most compact and cost-effective device according to the market demand. So the specialists from Europe have produced the new memory stick-sized FBG Interrogators.
Fiber optic sensors’ nature
Fiber optic sensors have many characteristics that make them very effective for a multitude of applications. They are small, inert to chemical substances, immune to electromagnetic interference, and capable of withstanding high temperatures. There is no doubt that they have a lot of applications thanks to their unique characteristics. Fiber optic sensors are applied in structural health monitoring. In medicine, they are also used in catheters, endoscopes, etc.
Over the last years, scientists have developed fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors that can measure strain and temperature. For example, fiber optic sensors are successfully applied in the new generation of planes. The whole principle of the fiber optic sensors is based on the reflected light. The light is sent through a fiber optic cable and partially reflected by a microstructure inscribed into the fiber core. Researchers can observe different changes in strain or temperature thanks to the shifts in the wavelength of the reflected light.
Modern sensor devices such as FBG interrogators are based on free-space spectrometry. Spectrometers measure the properties of light in a specific part of the electromagnetic spectrum. However, this approach still has several limitations including measurement resolution, power consumption, etc. That is why scientists aim to develop fiber optic technology further.
The new generation of FBG interrogators
As fiber optic technology develops, scientists create new ways of device dimensions, power, and cost consumption to serve the increasing applications and clients’ requirements. There are many types of FBG interrogators that can include multiple photonic functions in one device. These devices represent the second generation on the market responding to the clients’ demands.
Nowadays, scientists even work on the third generation of fiber optic systems that have the size of a memory stick. With the size optimization, they also make the cost-effectiveness better. The new fiber optic technology includes a photonic submodule that consists of two light sources and a spectrometer section. Scientists have added three thermistors to measure the temperature of those three parts. The small box that has a size of a memory stick detects the reflected light that’s coming in on the fiber. The light is produced by one of the two light sources inside the model, injected into the fiber. The photodiodes record the reflections and the electronics amplify them.
Despite all the advantages of these new fiber optic systems, the future market adoption needs a more compact and lower-cost solution, including the costs of the consumables in medical and fiber optic battery monitoring systems.
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 email@example.com