Distributed Temperature Sensing at shallow depths

Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) is a state-of-the-art tool that possess an ability to monitor temperature rates over large territory and across wide temporal scales. This fiber optic technology has proved to be effective in different spheres and industries. However, despite the long field experience story, it still has its limitations and challenges apart from all the advantages. For example, when we talk about its application at shallow or deep depths.

DTS at shallow depths

The main difficulties in Distributed Temperature Sensing application

Despite all the progress that was achieved during this decade, distributed temperature sensing still meets some challenges. For example, when applied to the ocean, since dynamic oceanographic processes have a wide range of parameters, ranging from various types of turbulence to different climates, all data obtained from DTS systems fully help in understanding the dynamics of a complex ocean. However, different constraints can make modifications in time scales creating restrictions. Furthermore, there is a need for many additional advanced equipment for broad spatial resolution. That’s why it’s still complicated to use DTS in oceanography. However, now there are cases when distributed temperature sensing (DTS) is applied, for instance, in the Atlantic.

Recently, the scientists announced the first experiments on the seafloor of the Arctic sea ice with the help of the distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) system. This research has shown that fiber optic technology is effective, despite all the difficulties the scientists have faced due to the harsh environment. The system recorded a range of events that commonly applied equipment couldn’t even detect. Moreover, the DAS technology has detected the icequakes, various climate signals, and marine life.

From the other side, DTS systems can be applied in measuring surface water temperature spatial variability in lakes and rivers. The received data helps in the assessment of different factors such as estimating fish habitat and thermal inertia, the interaction between surface water and groundwater, etc. Usually, distributed temperature sensing is successfully applied in rivers and lakes with sensitive and high-resolution temperature monitoring under the wide temporal and spatial scales. Nevertheless, difficulties may arise in streams with cobbly or bedrock-lined streambeds. To avoid all the challenges, more expensive additional technologies are needed.

There are other factors that should be ensured like sensitive equipment needs protection and continuous power to work. Besides, optical fibers are delicate, they shouldn’t be bent or crimped.

How the Distributed sensing system works

Distributed sensing systems are appealing because they are able to continuously sample preserving while maintaining relatively high temporal and spatial resolution. Moreover, the accuracy indicators stay the same over a vast territory.

Distributed temperature sensors measurement allows to constantly observe temperature changes along the fiber optic cable. In this fiber optic technology the whole cable plays the role of the sensing element that measures temperature. It differs this method from the usual electrical temperature measurement. Moreover, the distributed temperature sensing is regarded as the most cost-effective and efficient system among the modern temperature measurement technologies.

The main operation principles of measurement are built on detecting the back-scattering of light:

        1. The first type is an optical fiber that uses Raman scattering. This approach was invented in the United Kingdom. Optical fibers are usually made from doped quartz glass. When the light falls on the excited molecular oscillations, the electrons of the molecule and the electrons of the molecule start interaction. This process is called Raman scattering and results in scattered light.
        2. The second method is the Brillouin scattering-based approach. It was mostly developed in the 1990s. It refers to the scattering of a light wave by an acoustic wave because of the interaction with the acoustic phonons. Thanks to the ability of the Brillouin scattering of making both frequency down- and up-shifted light, this method can be applied whether for distributed temperature or strain sensing. It can contain both, but they can’t work at the same time.
        3. The third technique is named Rayleigh back-scattering. This is the latest development. As well as for the previously developed distributed sensors, a usual optical fiber can be used as the sensor. It allows the entire cable to be used as a single sensor, without purchasing expensive individual sensors. Scientists applied this technique, for example, for measuring distributed temperature in a nuclear reactor.

If we compare all these three techniques, each of them has its pros and cons. According to the scientists, the Rayleigh scattering demonstrates the highest rates in comparison with other types. However, it has limits in a range of fiber length. This factor is crucial for long lengths of cables’ monitoring. For this characteristic, the Brillouin scattering shows the best results. Besides, it has temperature sensitivity and good measurement time. Moreover, Brillouin scattering allows to detect distributed strain, unlike the other two methods. But usually it is applied either for distributed temperature measurement or strain. According to the data, Brillouin scattering is more often used as a substitute for Raman scattering.

DTS systems in field experiments

In accordance with the final field experiments, despite all the challenges, temperature measurements with the help of the DTS systems have been performed successfully in various environments including rivers, lakes, seas, etc. The fiber Bragg grating sensors have been applied both in fresh and sea water and demonstrated good results. Furthermore, it refers to simultaneous measurement of temperature and depth which has been impossible for previous fiber sensors.

Modern fiber optic sensors provide the parallel measurements of temperature and pressure at the same place. Besides, in comparison with other methods, fiber optic technology provides much lower power consumption. It allows the DTS systems to work longer and makes longer experiments and observation possible.

The developed fiber optic technology can be used for measurements and monitoring of the physical parameters. Moreover, it is well-placed for many cases and can be applied to various applications, such as wave and tide gauges, tsunami warning systems, etc.

All in all, we can say that distributed temperature sensing (DTS) can be successfully applied in various cases at shallow depths due to their diversity. The system can be designed and installed in accordance with the existing conditions and parameters in every single case.

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

FBG sensors for Structural Health Monitoring

Structural health monitoring (SHM) is considered to be one of the most effective modern fiber optic technologies. Its aim is to provide robust information about engineering structures’ integrity and safety. Thanks to it, specialists can indicate the need for repair or retirement in advance and eliminate problems. Such a system of structural condition monitoring is based on fiber Bragg grating sensors.

FBG sensors for Structural Health Monitoring

Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors as a part of structural health monitoring systems

FBG sensors have proved to be reliable monitoring instruments. Thanks to the variety of FBG sensors, they have a great advantage in comparison with other technologies.

The main types of Fiber Bragg Grating sensors:

  • Temperature sensors;
  • Strain sensors;
  • Displacement sensors;
  • Pressure sensors, etc.

Newly developed FBG sensors are widely applied to measure and register static values in various industries. Scientists have discovered their abilities in ultrasonic detection and capacity for ultrasonic structural health monitoring. To provide the accuracy of the results, ultrasonic detection needs a broad bandwidth and high sensitivity. That’s why Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors need to be properly designed, taking into account data process and installation methods.

Main steps for structural health monitoring implementation

SHM allows the predictive maintenance of engineering structures and machines. There is no need in turning the whole system off because structural health monitoring can detect damages while operating. Mechanisms can keep working over a long period of time.

There are three main steps for SHM implementation:

  • Finding the most suitable locations for FBG sensors. It means the modeling of the most probable simulation. Engineers identify critical areas where it is better to install sensors.
  • Data gathering. At this step, FBG sensors monitor the health of the structures in normal and maximum loading conditions. They need to know the usual numbers for loading conditions to see any differences in the future. The received data also allows conducting a statistical study to determine the normal functionality of the engineering structures.
  • Comparison of the received data and standard behavior rates. Special algorithm(s) allows comparison even without extra manpower. If the values obtained don’t match the predetermined level, the software defines whether there is a possibility of structural failure. If ‘yes’, then the program informs about problems that have arisen with warnings and alarms.

The areas in which structural health monitoring systems are most commonly used, for example, are the gas and oil industry. In addition, recently this technology has been applied on a fish farm. Specialists have designed a customized structural health monitoring system that allows them to see the whole picture of fish farming’s biological and technological aspects. Fiber optic technology still has a wide range of industries to develop.

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

Fiber Optic Technology in earthquake monitoring

The improvement of life quality is the main factor in the development of every new technology including fiber optic technology. Scientists from all over the world have always looked for new solutions for the prevention of seismic events, which is one of the most essential points in life quality improvement.

Seismic data of the previous years, electric sensors, fiber Bragg grating sensors, and modern distributed acoustic sensing have an aim to predict all catastrophes connected to earthquakes in the future. Especially, it concerns areas with high rates of population. More accurate monitoring gives an opportunity to reduce the risks resulting from most common natural events like earthquakes, landslides, eruptions, etc.

Fiber Optic Technology in earthquake monitoring

 

FBG sensors in the prediction of seismic events

In the past, the only approach to all the natural phenomena was the information about the cases. Then electric sensors were applied. However, usual electric sensors are hard to comply with the monitoring requirements of high sensitivity and long lifetime. That is why scientists have tried to use different FBG sensors. In fact, fiber Bragg grating temperature sensors were produced for better monitoring and observation of seismic activity. Except for fiber Bragg grating temperature sensors, there are FBG strain sensors that can be also applied for collecting data as geothermal monitoring.

In comparison with the usual electric sensors, FBG sensors can offer ease in signal transmission and immunity to electromagnetic interference that plays an important role. In fact, temperature monitoring with the help of the FBG is considered to be one of the most popular applications. Moreover, modern sensors can be sensitive to both strain and temperature.

Distributed Acoustic Sensing in earthquake prediction

If we speak of seismic activity and the prediction of seismic events, we should definitely mention another fiber optic technology that helps in geothermal monitoring called distributed acoustic sensing. DAS systems are widely applied in various spheres, including vibroacoustic monitoring of the oil wells.

Scientists have already held a number of experiments with the help of the distributed acoustic sensing studying seismic activity in different areas such as metropolitan, oceans, etc. The results prove that DAS systems are able to accurately detect vibrations even in conditions of a highly noisy environment and far away from the epicenter. That’s why this fiber optic technology draws the attention of many researchers and is popular where there is a need for precise and robust information. The DAS’s improved performance has shown its potential to be a powerful instrument in geophysics studies thanks to its bandwidth, waveform fidelity, cost-effectiveness, and simplicity.

Despite all the achievements in fiber optic technology, scientists still consider that DAS technology for seismic monitoring is still in its infancy. However, they are sure that such promising opportunities will play a crucial role in the next seismic networks.

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

Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) Sensors for Industrial Sensing

Recently, researchers have presented a new generation of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors that are covered with aluminum and copper. These FBG sensors are compact and hermetically sealed. Depending on the applied coating, they are resistant to high or low temperatures and can be applied in harsh environmental conditions. As well as gold-coated fiber Bragg grating sensors, they are representatives of a modern generation of humidity-proof different sensors, for example, temperature sensors, strain sensors, pressure sensors, etc.

Main Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors advantages

It’s a well-known fact that FBG sensors are widely applied in various fields and spheres thanks to their advantages. A lot of measurements in harsh environmental conditions would become possible by the usage of fiber optic technology.

Here are the most common advantages of fiber Bragg grating sensors:

  • absolute temperature and other measurements in comparison with usual electric sensors;
  • rapid linear response in strain, pressure, or temperature measurements;
  • the compact size of the construction reduces the weight and allows to use of many sensing points on a single fiber strand;
  • measurements over long distances;
  • acceptable price, etc.

FBG Sensors for Industrial Sensing

 

The new type of FBG Sensors

However, a usual FBG sensor with the glass fiber coating can have several limitations because of the high humidity, high temperatures, corrosion, etc. The new type of Fiber Bragg Gratings are embedded into optical fibers coated with aluminum, copper, or gold have much more applications.

Scientists have offered processes that allow providing two lays of metal coatings. It gives an opportunity to create different lengths of window stripping and make the second layer with the needed thickness and length.

In conclusion, we must say that scientists from all over the world keep finding new fiber optic solutions to solve the modern problems we face in real life. That means that fiber optic technology will be better and more effective every day.

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

Fiber Optic Technology for corrosion detection

It is a well-known fact that fiber optic technology has a wide range of applications in different spheres, starting from medicine and ending with 3D visualization. In particular, it is applied in the oil and gas industry where Fiber Optic Technology solves several issues, including corrosion detection.

Corrosion impact and Fiber Optic Technology

Corrosion is the deterioration of the metal because of its being under exposure to electrochemical molecules that damage its surface and lead to other worse changes. It has already become a real problem for the oil and gas industry. According to the research in 2015, the annual cost amounted to $500,000 in the US. That’s a six-time bigger than the budget for natural disasters. In fact, 33 percent of the cases occurring in the gas and oil industry are connected to corrosion.

Fiber Optic Technology for corrosion detection

That is why scientists from all over the world are looking for new ways to solve the corrosion problem by using modern fiber optic solutions. There are several methods of corrosion detection, but fiber optic technology is still considered to be one of the most cost-effective ones.

FBG sensors to Detect Corrosion

Thanks to modern scientifically developed alloys, the number of corrosion cases has declined. However, there are still challenges connected to contaminating fluids that come into contact with the metals and accelerate the corrosion process. This can definitely lead to the compromising of the structures and lives of the wells over time.

Fiber Bragg grating sensors and distributed sensing systems are considered to be some of the most cost-effective instruments that are created to locate corrosion at an early stage. Distributed sensing pipeline leak detection systems can be divided into two types: distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) or distributed temperature sensing (DTS). They are considered to be the most successful systems and are widely applied in many projects across tens of thousands of kilometers of pipelines.

That’s why FBG sensors are widely applied for corrosion detection in pipes. Fiber Bragg grating sensors transmit the data about the whole picture of the pipe’s integrity. So the corrosion can be noticed at the early stage at different levels. Thanks to the fiber optic technology, it is possible to reduce the detection period and the company losses because of the corrosion cases. Actually, the majority of gas and oil pipelines lie in urban wetlands, mountains, and forests that are the perfect environment for corrosion. And most of the pipes were not prepared for it.

That is why scientists have used the best advantages of distributed sensing to apply the FBG sensors as data lines and detectors. These FBG sensors are constantly reading the internal pipe material conditions caused by corrosion. The Fiber Bragg grating sensors read the thickness of the pipe and transmit the information to the center. They even have the ability to warn when the pipe drops below a 3 mm thickness. Moreover, FBG sensors help in detecting internal changes and events like flow constrictions and liquid accumulations. They can easily detect changes in temperature, noise, and vibration.

All in all, we must conclude that Fiber Bragg grating sensors rank among the most effective corrosion detection methods that allow solving the problem in time.

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

FBG Interrogators with a size of a memory stick

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.

FBG Interrogators as a memory stick

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 info@optromix.com

FBG sensors application in VR technology

Fiber Bragg Grating sensors application in VR technologyIt is not a secret that fiber optic technology already has a wide range of different applications starting with medicine and ending with road monitoring. However, scientists still have a lot of spheres for FBG sensors implementation. And the VR ecosystem is one of them.

So one Korean company has developed motion capture suits based on fiber optic solutions. This company is a developer of virtual reality technologies that aims to create a fully integrated VR ecosystem with the usage of fiber Bragg grating sensors.

VR entertainment is becoming more popular and capturing the minds of consumers. Nowadays, VR equipment can be installed at homes and other VR-based devices. Its applications are very diverse and can be applied in many industries, including education and even defense.

The FBG suits based on fiber optic technology are considered to be the fourth generation VR technologies. This generation intends to make VR more exciting and easily accessible. The previously created motion capture devices were much more expensive and required experience to work with. However, the company has solved both these problems with the help of fiber optic technology.

The company found out that there were some aspects that prevent VR adoption, for example, high installation costs and a long list of limitations. However, with the application of fiber optic sensors, the maintenance costs can be greatly reduced which will lead to greater adoption.

A lot of VR systems working on the principle of inertial sensor technology have a great number of cameras to detect a person’s movements. On the one hand, this method provides more accurate results. However, it also provides too much information that is needed to be handled. This factor makes it difficult to participate simultaneously for many users. Moreover, inertial sensor technology can be influenced by electromagnetic fields and cause an error.

The alternative design was developed with the usage of FBG sensors. This fiber optic technology is based on recognizing a person’s position through the refraction of light in the fiber optic cable. Fiber optic sensors precisely measure joint movement. Moreover, it can be used for a long perspective, providing no errors. According to scientists, this is a new implementation of FBG sensors into the existing products.

Now the company plans to deliver suites based on FBG sensors for VR applications in various fields and for different producers. And scientists hope to work in this direction further.

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

FBG sensors for healthcare applications

Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors for healthcareA collaboration of scientists from different countries (China, Pakistan, and Hong Kong) have developed new 3D printed FBG sensors that can help in creating the ‘smart beds’. Scientists have worked to determine the main advantages of the innovative 3D printed FBG sensors and their applications in different spheres.

3D printing has demonstrated enormous results in different scientific fields. It helps to reduce the costs and makes the production process much easier for the developers. The university scientists have already applied it in their different devices with potential healthcare applications.

The main goal of this development based on the fiber Bragg grating sensors was to track sleeping patterns with high precision. First, the research team hopes that this fiber optic solution can be helpful for hospitals to monitor the well being of patients. Moreover, these fiber Bragg grating sensors are temperature-insensitive, lightweight, and high-accurate. That increases their chances to be installed in more hospitals and improves the quality of care because the staff could respond more quickly when the patients’ condition deteriorates.

Usually, FBGs are a microstructure that length is a few millimeters. It is implemented into a short optical fiber that can transform the light in response to temperature, strain, or vibration. FBG sensors are highly applied in mechanical engineering, textile, and medical spheres, thanks to their high thermal sensitivity.

Nowadays, the production of FBG sensors for healthcare still remains a time-consuming and equipment-intensive process that is hard to replicate. While 3D printing is an advanced technology that allows the creation of complex FBG sensing devices. Moreover, fiber Bragg grating sensors have never been applied to sleep-monitoring.

During the first experiments, the 3D printed FBG sensors were tested while putting under pressure loads. Each device demonstrated a number of consistent wavelengths which leads to the possibility of providing reliable readings. The final tests on fiber Bragg grating sensors were held by placing them under the mattress of a bed. A person demonstrated several sleeping positions while the FBG sensors were tracking his changes in posture.

According to the results, the FBG sensors’ readings were almost precise and had an error rate of less than 1%. Nevertheless, the research team considers that this fiber optic technology still has potential in the future. They could, for example, track a patient’s breathing and identify when the heart rate has begun to fall. And that is not the first time that fiber optic technology can prove beneficial to medicine.

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

Fiber Optic Technology as pipeline leak detection method

Fiber Optic Technology for the pipeline leak detectionSpecial fiber optic technology can make fiber optic cable a sensing one. That solves many challenges including monitoring long units like pipelines, tunnels, or power cables. With the help of fiber optic sensors, it is more likely to find the leak in a short time. FBG interrogator sends a laser pulse through the fiber optic cable and the light comes back to the interrogator. The back scattered light delivers back acoustic, vibration, and thermal data.

Distributed sensing is widely used as an external pipeline leak detection method. Distributed sensing systems easily detect changes in temperature, noise, or vibration. Distributed sensing helps in detecting internal events, for example, liquid accumulations in gas pipelines, slugs, and flow constrictions.

Nowadays, distributed sensing pipeline leak detection software includes a wide variety of pipeline applications. The systems that apply distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) or distributed temperature sensing (DTS) are already produced in many projects across tens of thousands of kilometers of pipelines. Therefore distributed sensing systems already proved to be the most cost-effective in leak detecting.

There are standard fiber optic cables with suitable distributed sensing systems compatible with single-mode and multi-mode fibers or with a combination of them. According to the scientists, fiber optic cables with the usage of single-mode fibers are suitable for both DAS and DTS. While fiber optic cables using multi-mode fibers could enhance the DTS systems’ performance. Distributed sensing systems emphasize the detection of thermal and acoustic leak signatures. That’s why there are different types of DAS and DTS systems according to their thermal, acoustic detection capabilities, and performance requirements.

For example, a research team from South Africa is currently applying fiber optic solutions for the detection of leaks in pipelines. Scientists investigated leak detection using fiber Bragg gratings. These were applied to measure strains and temperature on pipelines and in the ground adjacent to pipelines. With the help of fiber optic technology, they could detect water leaks by burying a fiber optic cable into a pipe trench with a new pipe or place it above an existing pipe.

The scientists hope that after a number of experiments they could implement distributed sensing systems in South Africa by monitoring the pipes and delivering the data about water leaks into a leakage detection center. So fiber optic solutions would give an opportunity to fix the leak quickly without losing massive volumes of water. According to them, fiber optic technology shows great promise as a highly effective leak detection system.

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

FBG sensors in monitoring road conditions

FBG sensors monitoring road conditionsScientists from Latvia made a number of experiments using fiber optic technology for monitoring the condition of the road surface. They chose special FBG sensors that can collect data about roadway changes, like changes in the strain and temperature. These fiber optic solutions that also include applying fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) will help in designing reliable roads and planning for road repairs.

The process of pavement destroying can’t be completely stopped. However, we can apply more strong materials and repair small cracks in the structure at the early stages. That is why we require new monitoring methods and the most effective ways are fiber optic solutions.

According to the research, the fiber sensors could define the roadway defects and measure the load on the site. So with the help of fiber optic sensors, it will be possible to consider the pressure and vibration created by transport in the area and strengthen the coverage in the right places.

Scientists chose fiber optic systems because fiber optic sensors are highly sensitive and do not require a power supply. Fiber sensors can be installed in an existing fiber optic network and receive data remotely. The basis of fiber optic sensors contains fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs). It is a section in the middle of an optical fiber, where the refractive index of light has been changed using ultraviolet radiation. As a result, such a section always reflects radiation only in a very small part of the spectrum and transmits the rest of the light without loss. The fiber Bragg grating (FBG) can be formed so that the wavelength of the reflected light depends on changes in temperature, pressure, or other physical aspects. Because of these parameters, fiber Bragg grating sensors are effective for application.

Scientists placed two types of fiber optic sensors on one of the highways during its renovation. The first one measured deformations in construction, the other detected temperature. Since unprotected fiber sensors are quite fragile, they were packed in composite and ceramic tubes. The first test demonstrated that the most precise strain measurements are possible when the load is placed exactly at the location of the fiber optic sensors. Researchers also specified that temperature plays a crucial role in the deformations of the asphalt. And the final key aspect of the tests with fiber optic technology was monitoring real traffic and defining the truck’s quantity.

Finally, the experiments demonstrate that fiber optic sensors can measure the deformations of the roadway with sufficient accuracy. By applying FBG sensors specialists can determine the moment when the limit of permissible deformations will be exceeded in the selected area. That will definitely help in designing new roads and repairing the existing ones.

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