A dramatic increase in the application of composite materials, involving aerospace technology, as well as other fields that need high reliability of structures, for instance, oil production, building industry, etc., makes the task of structural health monitoring very important.
One of the most promising techniques is considered to be fiber optic sensors as an integral part of the monitoring system. Fiber optic sensors have several essential benefits over conventional ones. Compared to standard sensing systems, fiber sensors offer:
– a small mass;
– a high level of sensitivity;
– an electromagnetic compatibility;
– the ability to be combined in a network, as well as multiplexing;
– the compatibility with other systems for structural health monitoring;
– the ability to measure a variety of quantities.
A great benefit provided by fiber sensors also includes the ability to measure a variety of parameters such as deformation, pressure and force, electric and magnetic fields, sound and vibration, pH and viscosity, the presence of molecules, bacteria, and so on.
The sensitive element of a point fiber sensor is a fiber Bragg grating (FBG). The fiber Bragg grating reflects emission with a certain wavelength and it is transparent to other wavelengths. This selective reflection is achieved by writing a periodic structure in the optical fiber core. The reflected signal is registered by the receiving device.
FBG sensors do not have electronic components, i.e. they are passive. Thus, this property of FBG sensors opens up a wide range of possibilities for the application of such sensors in hazardous areas and areas with strong electromagnetic interference.
Herewith, multiple fiber Bragg gratings can be created on a single optical fiber. Each of the FBGs will reflect laser beam emission at its wavelength. This allows for producing a distributed monitoring system with wavelength multiplexing. The use of fiber optic sensors for structural health monitoring is regarded as very promising.
The widespread use of composite materials in the aviation industry, as well as the creation and application in the future of “smart” materials and structures even with adaptive properties, will require continuous improvement of the structural health monitoring systems. Promising integrated sensing systems installed in optical fibers will significantly transform the way FBG sensors are employed in aviation materials and structures.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org