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Proceedings Paper

Distributed fiber optic sensors for humidity and hydrocarbon detection
Author(s): Alistair MacLean; Chris Moran; Graham Thursby; S. Gareth Pierce; Brian Culshaw; Neil B. Graham
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Paper Abstract

A novel distributed fiber optic sensor that incorporates liquid swellable polymers to transduce the swelling into a microbend loss is presented. Interrogation of the sensor using standard optical time domain reflectometry (OTDR) instruments provides the possibility of detecting target chemicals and fluids at any location along the sensor length. The location of multiple events along a sensor, which may extend to 4 km is readily achievable. In this paper we present an overview of the work conducted on the characterization of a distributed optical fiber water sensor. Following a discussion of the basic principles of the water sensor and the underlying technology we present a review of the significant developments achieved. Tests incorporating the sensor in civil engineering applications, which range from monitoring of concrete curing to leak detection in highways, are described. In addition to this, more recent developments to utilize the sensor technology to detect other fluids are discussed, in particular for the monitoring of pH changes and liquid hydrocarbons. We discuss some of the significant advantages in using this type of sensor construction and areas in which it can be practically used.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 June 2000
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3986, Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Sensory Phenomena and Measurement Instrumentation for Smart Structures and Materials, (12 June 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.388123
Show Author Affiliations
Alistair MacLean, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
Chris Moran, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
Graham Thursby, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
S. Gareth Pierce, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
Brian Culshaw, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
Neil B. Graham, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3986:
Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Sensory Phenomena and Measurement Instrumentation for Smart Structures and Materials
Richard O. Claus; William B. Spillman, Editor(s)

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