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Proceedings Paper

Smoke and mirrors: a fiber optic smoke sensor
Author(s): Henry K. Whitesel; John K. Overby; Michael J. Ransford; Patricia A. Tatem
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Paper Abstract

Smoke detectors in general, are usually threshold devices that frequently experience false alarms. Optical smoke detectors usually depend on the measurement of optical power absorption and scattering across an air gap and are usually threshold devices. Fiber optic sensor technology offers potential improvements for existing smoke detector technology. We have developed a new smoke sensor design based on wavelength selective absorption and scattering that generates a continuous measurement of smoke density. This technique provides first order compensation for water and dirt coatings on the optical surfaces and for optical power and ambient light changes. The sensor has a 2 inch sensing region and utilizes multimode technology with an 850 nanometer LED source. Experimental models of the fiber optic smoke sensors were tested successfully in our laboratory and on the ex-USS SHADWELL. Operational performance advantages of the fiber optic smoke sensor are expected in the areas of monitoring visibility, reducing false alarms, improving reliability, and continuous measurement of smoke density; this will improve fire detection capability and will assist in developing fire fighting strategy. Application of the sensors are planned for the shipboard environment to provide sensor input to new damage control management systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 1994
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2292, Fiber Optic and Laser Sensors XII, (1 November 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.191826
Show Author Affiliations
Henry K. Whitesel, Naval Surface Warfare Ctr. (United States)
John K. Overby, Naval Surface Warfare Ctr. (United States)
Michael J. Ransford, ECO Inc. (United States)
Patricia A. Tatem, Naval Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2292:
Fiber Optic and Laser Sensors XII
Ramon P. DePaula, Editor(s)

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