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Proceedings Paper

Fiber optic sensor markets: boom or bust?
Author(s): Gordon L. Mitchell
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Paper Abstract

Fiber optic sensors have very attractive features for industrial applications. Because they use nonconducting glass instead of wires they can operate in high electromagnetic field environments and explosion hazard areas. The expectations of the 1980s were that fiber optic sensor usage would be over $100 M per year in 1993; actual sales were under $20 M. The order-of-magnitude error was in part due to forecasting methodology and in part due to users not accepting the new sensor technology to replace traditional sensors. To understand the difference between predicted and actual sales, 15 studies generated in the mid 1980s were examined and compared with actual industry revenues in 1993. General trends in sensor development were examined by looking at published papers. Fiber optic sensor papers now account for about 30% of all fiber optic papers published with the fraction growing. Industry needs were examined by surveying sensor applications engineers in chemical process control, industrial companies, and electric power. A 55% reply rate was achieved. Sensor characteristics most desired were reliability and stability; cost and size were not considered as important.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 April 1995
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2574, Pacific Northwest Fiber Optic Sensor Workshop, (20 April 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.207755
Show Author Affiliations
Gordon L. Mitchell, Future Focus, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2574:
Pacific Northwest Fiber Optic Sensor Workshop
Eric Udd, Editor(s)

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