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Proceedings Paper

Field monitoring of the ice load of an icebreaker propeller blade using fiber optic strain gauges
Author(s): Andre Morin; Serge Caron; Richard Van Neste; Merv H. Edgecombe
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Paper Abstract

Navigation in polar waters presents a formidable challenge to ships' propulsion systems as large ice pieces impinging on their propeller blades sometimes result in stresses exceeding the yield strength of the blade material. Damage to propellers is costly and can also spell disaster if a ship becomes disabled in a remote area. To prevent such situations, design practice must be improved and theoretical models of propeller/ice interaction must be validated against experimental data. The blade shape requires that the load be monitored at many locations in order to obtain an accurate picture of the stress and load distribution. Fiber optic sensors are ideally suited for such an application, owing to their small size, stability over time, immunity to electro-magnetic interference, resistance to corrosion and chemical attack by sea water and hydraulic oil. We report the full-scale instrumentation of an icebreaker propeller blade with 54 Fabry-Perot based fiber optic strain gauges and shaft-mounted electronics. The instrumentation design and installation procedures are described. Additional data gathered from the propulsion control system and the ship's navigation equipment is presented and the data fusion performed with underwater video imagery of the instrumented blade is also discussed. An overview of the noise-free data obtained during the Antarctic trials is given. We finally discuss the sensors behavior and long term response, presenting their applicability to smart structures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 May 1996
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2718, Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Sensing, Processing, and Instrumentation, (30 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.240883
Show Author Affiliations
Andre Morin, National Optics Institute (Canada)
Serge Caron, National Optics Institute (Canada)
Richard Van Neste, National Optics Institute (Canada)
Merv H. Edgecombe, MetriComp Systems (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2718:
Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Sensing, Processing, and Instrumentation
Kent A. Murphy; Dryver R. Huston, Editor(s)

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