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Appreciation of the work of the UK Optical Sensors Collaborative Association (OSCA) in the context of the contemporary FOS scene
Author(s): Peter McGeehin
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Paper Abstract

The contribution of the UK Optical Sensors Collaborative Association to the first wave of R&D on the application of fiber optics in sensing application is summarized. Safety related R&D has continued and the most recent results are presented. OSCA identified that a suitable component infrastructure for sensing had not yet been realized, and this is probably a significant part of the explanation for the relatively modest commercial impact of this technology at the present time. OSCA also identified the significance of white light interferometry, and realized the potential of silicon as a substrate for integrated optics. Alas, OSCA acted primarily as an onlooker to the important discovery of fiber Bragg gratings. Subsequent global efforts at commercialization have been admirable, but are not yet major in business terms. Distributed sensing has rather plodded along, through some progress is being made. It is argued that we are now on the leading edge of a second wave of development in fiber optic sensing. The emphasis in this wave is not sensing principles but the adaptation and employment of the components and signal processing methods being facilitated by the huge wave of commercialization in optoelectronics which is currently occurring, primarily stimulated by the internet explosion. For sensing systems it is judged that silicon ridge waveguide technology has the potential to create a standardized approach to optical sensing, in concept not dissimilar from the familiar standardized analogue electronic signal and transmission means (e.g. 4 - 20 mA).

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4074, Applications of Optical Fiber Sensors, (31 August 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.397887
Show Author Affiliations
Peter McGeehin, Compton Consultants. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4074:
Applications of Optical Fiber Sensors
Alan J. Rogers, Editor(s)

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