The researchers from NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center form a partnership with members of the Naval Surface Warfare Center to create fleet maintenance capabilities with the help of new fiber optic sensing systems. Thus, the development of novel highly promising fiber optic sensing solutions becomes possible.
The thing is that fiber optic technology is considered to be one of the most essential and promising techniques, and the cooperation of the mentioned above organizations may help to find the solution to all current challenges. Herewith, there was a project of Remote Environmental and Condition Monitoring Systems that could be restarted again with the help of new possibilities of optical fiber technology offered by companies.
The main function of fiber optic sensing systems is the record of every parameter. For example, today fiber optic sensors are applied for monitoring of temperature, relative humidity, shock, and vibration. Future fiber optic applications include the monitoring of hypergolic propellant fuels, liquid detection, contamination, radiation, strain, and electric and magnetic fields.
Fiber optic sensing solutions allow fulfilling a need to control high valued assets applying fiber optic sensing technology that can be installed with live ordnance. Moreover, the fiber optic sensing system was tested on a self-defense test ship before its installation on real warships.
Such fiber optic technology enables to increase confidence in real-time fiber optic applications on active warships and ensure sensing systems are ready before future improvements. This optical fiber sensing system contains as many fiber optic sensors as possible to develop a new project that allows demonstrating and detecting main challenges in a relatively short time.
The Office of Naval Research offers fiber optic sensing solutions that are able to monitor, identify, and forecast the health of most critical components, hot spots, fatigue and damage-prone parts of weapon systems in a reliable and economical way.
Such fiber optic technology may enhance sensing systems while cutting the maintenance cost, current parts life and new materials. The advantages of fiber optic sensing solutions are based on the application of lightweight, compact fiber optic sensors compared to traditional big, heavy and hard resisting gages.
Finally, the researchers from NASA developed fiber Bragg Grating or FBG (a fiber optic sensor that reflects certain wavelength and sends all others), as well as two techniques they apply in their fiber optic sensing systems: conventional Wavelength Division Multiplexing and unique FBG Interrogation Technology called the Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry.
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