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Proceedings Paper

Structural diagnostics using optical fiber sensors
Author(s): Giuseppe Surace; Agostino Chiaradia
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Paper Abstract

After establishing the basis for assessing the structural implications of introducing a widespread sensor architecture in laminated composite materials in order to precisely identify and locate damage, the paper addresses the problem of structural diagnostics with a discussion of the development of several optical sensors. The research project will first investigate a passive optical fiber impact sensor to be implemented in the matrix of a composite material used in aeronautic and automotive applications. The senor's operating principle is based on the changes in propagation conditions occurring in a fiber subjected to transverse compression: under these circumstances, structural microdistortions produce local energy losses and hence a reduction in the optical power which propagates in the fiber and can be measured at its opposite end. As optical power losses also take place as a result of micro-bending of the optical fiber's longitudinal axis, a preliminary feasibility study will measure power attenuation versus fiber curve radius as the first step in the development of an optical fiber delamination sensor which locates separations between the layers of a composite material, i.e. debonding of sandwich panel core faces. Finally, an active impact sensor will be developed which uses optical fiber's sensitivity to pressure changes to detect the pressure gradient caused by an approaching vehicle or obstacle. The automotive industry will be able to make strategic use of these sensors, for example by installing them on vehicle sides to active the side airbag in the event of impact or collision.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 November 1997
PDF: 3 pages
Proc. SPIE 3241, Smart Materials, Structures, and Integrated Systems, (14 November 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.293512
Show Author Affiliations
Giuseppe Surace, Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Agostino Chiaradia, Politecnico di Torino (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3241:
Smart Materials, Structures, and Integrated Systems
Alex Hariz; Vijay K. Varadan; Olaf Reinhold, Editor(s)

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