Articles

about Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG), FBG Sensors and Monitoring Systems

New long-gauge FBG sensor allows detecting corrosion damage

on March 18, 2019

Nowadays the process of main steel reinforcement corrosion is one of the most frequent problems that evokes structural deterioration and reduces its durability. However, the development of a new kind of long-gauge fiber Bragg grating sensor enables to detect and quantify corrosion damage via two-level strategy.

Canva - Steel Bridge (1)The main advantage of the novel long-gauge FBG sensor compared with the conventional strain sensors is the possibility to use it for both local and global structural monitoring. The principle of FBG technology operation is based on the measurement of the averaged strain within a long gauge length.

It should be noted that the new FBG system is based on the dynamic macro strain responses of FBG sensors. The technology of the strain flexibility detects the location of the corrosion process, and then it quantifies the corrosion by analyzing the sensitivity of strain flexibility.

Moreover, the technology of fiber Bragg grating sensors provides the following benefit that lies in highly accurate and effective corrosion quantification that is possible to be performed in a reduced domain. Herewith, the FBG sensing system has shown great results while testing in the marine environment.

The FBG technology is highly effective in the detection of structural corrosion, but unfortunately, fails to determine the corrosion process unless the apparatus covers the corroded part. Nevertheless, the FBG-based strain sensor remains the most popular due to the use of small, lightweight optical fibers that allow being easily attached to the surface of any steel reinforcement.

The main difference between the new fiber Bragg grating sensors and traditional ones is that civil structures with a large scale and complex shapes very often contain a high quantity of unknown factors that make the process of analysis slower and more complicated. Also, compared to long-gauge FBG sensors, most damage detection techniques are able to detect damage, but can not quantify the severity.

Thus, the distributed long-gauge fiber Bragg grating sensor is a very promising technology for efficient and precise location of the corrosion damage and further structural long-term performance estimation. Herein, researchers have developed a step-by-step strategy that would help to detect and quantify the process of corrosion, and even proved it by a solid theoretical basis.

Finally, the novel two-level corrosion detection by the FBG sensing system provides a decisive superiority because the corrosion detection significantly reduces the number of unknown factors in the sensitivity equations and increases the success of the corrosion quantification.

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. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in FBG sensors and want to learn more, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorNew long-gauge FBG sensor allows detecting corrosion damage

DTS system controls oil rim movement

on March 4, 2019

Today operators in highly fractured carbonate reservoirs use running wireline gradiometric surveys as a traditional way of oil-rim movement monitoring. Nevertheless, the method is not ideal because it does not allow providing the necessary information in a manner timely enough to influence operations since the surveys are conducted just a few times a year. Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) system is an alternative solution that overcomes these drawbacks.

Canva - Oil Rig, Industry, Refinery, Rig, Refine, Construction (1)Distributed temperature sensing offers real-time monitoring of the oil rim in carbonate reservoirs. DTS technology is based on the use of optical-fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) and is able to measure pressure in extreme environmental conditions. It should be noted that the DTS system does not require electronics, herewith it provides long service term even at elevated downhole temperatures. Also, distributed temperature sensing is quite stable, it can determine even small pressure changes.

Moreover, dozens of distributed temperature sensors can be implemented on one fiber optic cable connected to FBG interrogator. The principle of operation includes a diaphragm pressure transducer that converts changes in the hydrostatic pressure of its environment into the deformation of a pressure-sensitive diaphragm, and then into the strain, within an optical fiber attached to the diaphragm. The thing is that optical fibers offer numerous advantages for oil and gas industry application, containing the following:

  • high transmission efficiency that means the FBG interrogator can be installed several kilometers away from the downhole sensors;
  • high data quality and accuracy due to data encoding in the light wavelength;
  • data immunity to the electromagnetic influence by machines;

At present time the information about pressure and temperature measurements, as well as system-health and self-diagnostic information are transmitted from the FBG interrogator into a database at 3-hour intervals. If fresh data sets are obtained, an algorithm processes them into gas/oil-contact and oil/water-contact locations. Also, it is possible to visualize pressure, temperature, and fluid-level data to see them in real-time.

Further improvement of the DTS system will allow application of the system for the production monitoring in ultrahigh-temperature thermal-recovery wells, where fluid temperatures up to 280 °C can be reached. Finally, distributed temperature sensing provides the reduction of production delay, the reduction of operational costs, health, safety, and environmental risk reduction and the possibility of system expansion.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating 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 temperature measurement systems and want to learn more, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorDTS system controls oil rim movement

Distributed acoustic sensing controls the arterial commerce networks

on February 25, 2019

Fiber-optic distributed acoustic sensing or DAS is a highly effective technique that allows monitoring highways, railroads, and pipelines. Moreover, today it is possible to provide lower-cost communications network surveillance and management due to DAS ability of constant gapless monitoring.

Car on Highway (1)The thing is that the world economy requires a reliable global network of highways, railroads, and pipelines for transportation of people, products, and resources across countries and continents. Also, fiber-optic communication cables including spare optical fiber are often used for their continuous, gapless monitoring.

Distributed acoustic sensing is a fiber-optic sensing technology that is quite “young”, about ten years ago. Since then, the technology is used not only in the laboratory but outside in several real-world applications.

The first main application of DAS is a new type of fiber optic security sensor for early detection of intruders. Then, distributed acoustic sensing became used in the oil and gas industry for the following aims:

  1. control of the effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing;
  2. production flow control;
  3. control of borehole seismic activity.

The unique ability of the DAS system to control quite long fibers that are already in place allow using distributed acoustic sensing for pipeline monitoring that is today main field of DAS application as well as control of highways and railroads located next to optical fiber routes.

It should be mentioned that all these applications use the same key platform technology. The principle of DAS operation is based on signals that can be analyzed in real time for detection, location, and classification of events. Then the obtained information that can be in different formats is transmitted to an operator.

Herewith, all distributed acoustic sensing systems use a technique called coherent optical time-domain reflectometry (C-OTDR) that are highly efficient for all fields of application. Now it is possible to detect different anomalies such as falling rocks along the tracks by DAS system.

Nevertheless, DAS has the biggest influence in the signaling area, for example,  distributed sensing helps to manage trains by control of their accurate position and motion in real time. The technology enables to reduce journey times while increasing rail capacity and improving safety.

Of course, the distributed acoustic sensing system continues improving and the improvement will provide quantitative measurement with improved sensitivity and higher spatial resolution on longer lengths of the sensing fiber in the future.

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

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editorDistributed acoustic sensing controls the arterial commerce networks

Distributed acoustic sensing for traffic monitoring

on February 18, 2019

CarToday transport networks are the essential element of any major city. A huge amount of vehicles causes reduction of road space, often accidents and traffic jams. Unfortunately, our present traffic systems cannot manage with the increased flows, for example, only the past two decades has seen an 84% increase in the number of cars. This became the main reason for the development of a new approach to traffic monitoring.

The possible solution is the use of the distributed acoustic sensing or DAS by fiber optic cable networks. Herewith, it should be mentioned that fiber optic networks suggest two main advantages over other potential smart transport technologies:

  • the diffusion of fiber optic cables, to be precise, they cover almost all parts of cities and road infrastructures.
  • no need for their installation because fiber cables are already in place. That is why it is not necessary to dig up the streets, install new cameras, or fit point sensors.
  • no need for vast spending programmes to deploy new technology.

The principle of work is based on the ability of all traffic to generate acoustic or seismic data. In addition, some specific activities, for example, incidents create certain acoustic signatures and these acoustic vibrations pass through fiber optic cables. Thus, distributed acoustic sensing allows interpreting the acoustic information to recognize, determine and track these signatures for traffic flows and public transport infrastructure monitoring in real time.

The DAS systems enable to analyze traffic speed and density, detect a traffic jam and identify disruptions like broken-down vehicles. The most important thing is that the DAS technology opens the opportunity for city authorities to make dynamic adjustments to transport infrastructure that will be necessary to keep cities moving now and in the future.

For example, in the case of an accident or intense level of traffic, the DAS system is able to adapt quickly traffic controls and redirect road traffic to balance overall vehicle flows and avoid a traffic jam. Nevertheless, the whole potential of the DAS technology is not explored yet but at the present time, it is tested in Canada.

The novel distributed acoustic sensing combine monitoring of the public tram system, public road networks, and even autonomous vehicles to create a complete picture of the transport network situation in the city. Then, the obtained information is transmitted into an app for citizens where they can see the road traffic to optimize their own journeys. Finally, it is planned that fiber optic sensing solutions will soon make intelligent transport systems cheaper, with less disruption than alternative approaches. das_1

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

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editorDistributed acoustic sensing for traffic monitoring

Fiber optic cables for earthquake monitoring

on February 11, 2019

Nowadays researchers from California are planning to use “dark fiber optic cables”, i.e. unused fiber cables, for underground monitoring of sound waves or signals came from earthquakes. It should be noted that today millions of fiber optic cable miles remain unused underground in spite of the fact that they have numerous applications.

Canva - Wire, Cables, Flexible, Metal, Material, Strings, Power

Thus, the researchers have developed a new technique of fiber optic underground monitoring that allows higher-resolution measurements of the Earth’s crust movement than the seismic detector networks could offer at the present time. Herewith, in traditional seismology the number of optical sensors for earthquake detection is limited but this technology makes each couple of meters a separate sensor.

Also, today problem is the measurement of the Earth’s surface vibrations because, in some seismically active places, there are a lot of fiber optic sensors while the areas that are far from tectonic plates have only a few. That is why it remains difficult to take measurements in places with fracking-induced earthquakes.

The new technique is based on distributed acoustic sensing that includes laser pulses with the aim of vibration detection along the fiber. Moreover, the researchers use FBG interrogators that are placed along the fibers that transmit and detect short infrared laser signals.

The principle of the interrogator operation includes the detection of tiny strains caused seismic activity on the fiber, then they force the laser light to reflect and bounce back to the fiber sensor. Thus, the researchers are able to determine light changes scattering over time by analyzing the rapid pulses, and this information shows where the seismic activity occurred.

The technology of the distributed acoustic sensing was tested in real-world conditions and enable to extract the information about the speed of waves traveling through the Earth’s surface. Moreover, the researchers succeeded in the earthquake measurement that happened in Mexico due to the distributed acoustic method and used fiber optic cables.

The potential application of DAS technology is the determination of groundwater location, nevertheless, the tests were not successful although the researchers could measure passing trucks and trains.  Unfortunately, this experimental method is not ready for application beyond research yet because there are a lot of limitations. For example, now a single sensing location along the line is less sensitive than a single seismometer and is able to measure the fiber strain only in one direction. The second problem of fiber optic cables is a huge amount of data that are difficult to manage, store, and organize. Herewith, the new DAS technique cannot be used yet on underwater lines.

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. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in acoustic measurement systems and want to learn more, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorFiber optic cables for earthquake monitoring

Fiber optic solutions for security monitoring system

on February 4, 2019

Recently a new simple low-cost technology has been developed for security monitoring of the borders. Initially, the technology that includes fiber-optic cables has been tested at the US-Mexico border. It allows determination of a wide range of invasions such as animals, people, vehicles and it is even possible to detect their precise location.

In spite of the fact that this fiber-optic application is not new and has been around for years, the government of the USA has been slow to use it. The fiber-optic cable technology is able to detect exactly what is moving above it, and it does not matter whether it is a huge man, a group of people, a passing car or a wandering dog.

Border_USA_Mexico

Today, the US government continues to build a border wall that critics name “medieval” solution to provide security, even despite the fact that the use of the fiber-optic system is cheaper than the building of a real wall. Other advantages of fiber optic cables include:

  • precise determination of border invasion location;
  • accurate detection of border invaders;
  • possibility to send quickly the information to border patrol agents in real time.

It should be mentioned that only 1% of human communications is accounted for by satellites, and 99% is accounted for by fiber-optic cables spreading across the seafloor, buried under cities. Herewith, comparing to satellites, the fiber-optic technology is able not only to transmit data but also determine movement that makes it more advantageous.

Moreover, the fiber-optic technology is already developed enough to be implemented in the security monitoring system of the US-Mexico border, and it is nearly ten times cheaper than a wall and can be put into operation instantly. Nevertheless, the main obstacle is the support of the US government.

The fiber-optic system is quite simple, that is why it is not necessary to put any sensors on the fiber because the fiber itself is a sensor that is able to determine motion as well as events anywhere along the fiber-optic cable length. Some companies made some improvements and enlarge the field of fiber-optic applications that now includes telecommunication, security monitoring, and even broadband internet access.

The principle of work is based on converting of sound waves in acoustic information. Although the fiber-optic technology on its own will not completely get rid of the activity such as illegal border-crossing and drug-smuggling, its combination with border patrol agents will significantly improve the situation.

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

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editorFiber optic solutions for security monitoring system

FBG sensors for monitoring of overhead transmission systems

on January 28, 2019

провода1Now it is highly important for the industrial sphere to have the ability of overhead transmission systems monitoring technology with the aim of potential error identification that can touch vital components.  The main reason for severe mechanical errors is different extreme situations. Consequently, the monitoring system of excessive mechanical and environmental loadings is the only significant solution to find and prevent potential risks.

The fact is that there are numerous factors that can occur in overhead transmission systems and cause different loadings. For example, the loading conditions include:

  • excessive bending;
  • aeolian vibrations;
  • galloping;
  • ice loading and shedding;
  • impact from falling objects;
  • hot spots;
  • aging;
  • galvanic corrosion, and others.

Herewith, these factors could severely damage the structural integrity of the conductors but for fiber Bragg gratings sensors for transmission monitoring.

Thus, a novel composite based overhead transmission lines were designed in response to the world’s increasing level of electrical consumption. Moreover, these FBG conductors are able to maintain severe environmental conditions, and they a considered to have a high period of service that can last for many decades.

It should be mentioned that previous monitoring systems of transmission lines were very difficult or even sometimes impossible process. Nowadays modern monitoring technology allows reducing costs on maintenance and inspection, and it is also able to make life predictions of the transmission systems.

This monitoring system uses optical sensing technology in high voltage environments whose main benefit is the immunity to electromagnetic interference and low signal weakening that make the system ideal for power transmission structures.

Also, FBG sensors include conventional single mode optical fiber that enables to measure temperature and strain of live lines in-service. Herewith, the process of monitoring can be made from miles away without conductive materials. The data obtained by strain signals processing from static and dynamic loads can be used for the detection of conditions that can affect the conductors.

The application of FBG monitoring technology also includes the assessment of the structural system health as well as the identification of the impact location relative to the position of FBG sensors along the conductor. Finally, the development of FBG monitoring system will provide better control and maintenance procedures for the conductors of different types.

Optromix is a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) products manufacturer that offers FBG sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, DAS systems, DTS systems. Optromix creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you have questions or would like to buy FBG products, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorFBG sensors for monitoring of overhead transmission systems

Fiber optic spark monitoring for EDM

on January 21, 2019

EDM or electrical discharge (spark) machining is the most advanced of metalworking technologies. EDM is worldwide used because of its high accuracy and the machining applications where traditional metal removal is highly difficult or even impossible.

Electrical-discharge-machine

The principle of EDM operation includes the spark that moves from the wire electrode to the work item approximately at the same speed as the electrical signals transmitting through the wires of the monitoring system. Nevertheless,  the distance between this work item and the wire electrode is shorter than the space interval between the spark and the control, that is why there are some difficulties in monitoring.

Thus, spark monitoring is very important and needs some technical improvements. Fiber optics is the best solution for the challenge that provides a high level of process control, increases the life of the wire and eliminates the possibility of wire damage. Moreover, the use of fiber optic spark monitoring system improves the problem of slow electrical signals and thereby, allows making timely all required adjustments and maintaining of permanent sparks.

The main aim of fiber-optic cable use is the reduction of wire wear to save costs for the user. For example, previous machines had stronger sparks and low frequency that provoked high wire pressure. Novel fiber monitoring systems have a higher number of sparks per second with less intensity.

It should be mentioned that fiber-optic cables are not limited by the electricity speed comparing to electrical wires because fiber cables transmit data through light pulses. Moreover, they are almost one hundred times faster than electrons. This improvement allows not only reducing wire wear but also keeping spark output and decreasing the necessary voltage.

Also, fiber optic cables leave behind electrical wires because of the following reasons:

  • safety due to nonconduction of fiber optics;
  • lightness despite the required power and distance;
  • higher data bandwidth at longer distances;
  • faster transmission speed;
  • thinness of the cable;
  • durability of fiber cables;
  • better reliability;
  • lower total costs.

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

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editorFiber optic spark monitoring for EDM

Total information about fiber optic temperature sensor

on January 14, 2019

Today all modern industries include highly complex and sensitive operations that require permanent operational conditions which are possible to provide due to the use of advanced technologies for temperature measurement. One of the potential solutions is the use of fiber optic temperature sensors.

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There are several ways of temperature measurement: classic mercury glass thermometer, infrared pyrometer, electronic thermometer. However, the most effective method is fiber temperature sensing because it provides accurate measurement compared to mentioned techniques and has numerous fields of application such as high voltage machines, nuclear power plants, chemical power plants etc.

The types of fiber temperature sensors include interferometric and non-interferometric sensors. The traditional non-interferometric sensor has multi-mode optical fiber construction and materials that are sensitive to temperature. Also, they are able to register changes, for example, absorption, transmission and reflection parameters due to temperature variation.

The simple interferometric fiber optic temperature sensors are more flexible and provide the sensitivity of higher level. The fields of the use include temperature, pressure, rotation, strain etc. The principle of the operation is the comparison of the beam phase through sensing fiber with the reference beam.

The advantages of optical temperature sensors:

  • Immunity to electromagnetic and stray radiation;
  • Possibility of the use in hard electrical conditions;
  • Greater accuracy and faster response time;
  • Light weight and compact size;
  • Low cost;
  • Wide temperature measurement range.

Nevertheless, fiber optic temperature sensors are not ideal and have some disadvantages such as different temperature range of operation and measurement accuracy for different types of sensors, the difficulties of development expensive price for some optical sensors.

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. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in temperature measurement systems and want to learn more, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorTotal information about fiber optic temperature sensor

FBG biosensor is able to detect thrombin in human blood

on December 24, 2018

Hirudin with_thrombin

Thrombin plays a very important role in normal and pathological blood coagulation because its high level is an indication of tumor cells presence. Also the level of thrombin is growing while atherosclerosis, thromboembolic disease, cancer, and inflammatory disease. Thus, its clinical importance provokes the development of devices for fast and precise thrombin detection and most of them are based on aptamers.

One of the ways to solve the problem is the use of optical-fiber grating-based sensors that have a great range of advantages:

  • high level of sensitivity;
  • multiplexing ability;
  • compact size;
  • light weight;
  • possibility of multi-modal sensing;
  • tolerance to electromagnetic interference;
  • low manufacturing cost.

All FBG sensors are based on different operation principles. There are LPG, etched fiber Bragg gratings, tilted FBG, microstructured Bragg gratings, photonic crystal fibers or PCF. Nowadays the development of these types of sensors, especially, those which can detect thrombin, is the primary objective.

Etched fiber Bragg grating (EFBG) is one of them, its manufacturing is highly simple and fast because it has chemical etching liquids (for example, hydrofluoric acid) that are able to take away the cladding very quick at a controlled rate. Also EFBG differs from core-exposed micromachined gratings by the absence of a laser micromachining station that makes the process of fabrication harder.

In spite of the fact that etched fiber Bragg gratings sensors have less sensitivity than in other types, there are numerous advantages over these sensing devices. For example, EFBG systems obtain a simple adjustability of their sensitivity. Moreover, there is no need for a polarization control because etched Bragg gratings measure reflection.

This optical-fiber grating-based sensing system operates with the wavelength of 1550 nm, uses hydrofluoric acid as etching fluid for approximately 27 minutes. It is able to detect thrombin in concentrations ranging from 10 nM to 80 nM and the use of EFBG has a promising future as the manufacture of FBG biosensors needs only chemical etching, also it is simple and less expensive than other types of sensing systems. Moreover, etching fiber Bragg grating sensors are easy for multiplexing and, consequently, can be used in vivo. Finally, all the advantages expand the opportunities for the thrombin detection.

Optromix is a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) products manufacturer that offers FBG sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, DAS systems, DTS systems. Optromix creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you have questions or would like to buy FBG products, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorFBG biosensor is able to detect thrombin in human blood