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Proceedings Paper

High survivability fiber sensor network for smart structures
Author(s): Andrew M. Gillooly; Lin Zhang; Ian Bennion
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Paper Abstract

A high survivability fibre sensor network is presented which has applications in smart structures. Linear sensor arrays suffer from the weakness that a fracture in the array will cause the loss of information from all sensors beyond the fracture. This scheme illustrates a method that is capable of withstanding damage with little or no effect to the data collection efficiency. Four different wavelength FBGs were fabricated in single-mode optical fibre and spliced to two 50:50 couplers. The reflected signal from the sensor network was observed on an optical spectrum analyser. Points along the network were attenuated by 100% to simulate a break. The attenuation of two points on the arms showed little effect to the reflection spectrum. Attenuation to four other points showed the loss of the reflection from only one grating whilst maintaining the signals from the remaining gratings. This compares favourably to a standard fibre sensor array that would lose one or more gratings, depending on the point of attenuation. Such a system is highly desirable in rough operating environments such as found in the military or in heavy industry. The system introduces a level of redundancy without the expensive need of duplication. Other techniques involving switches or higher multiplexed couplers may be used but they present their own disadvantages. Optical switches are expensive and not particularly rugged and the higher multiplexed coupler technique has a power penalty as the power is split over a larger number of arms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 November 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5579, Photonics North 2004: Photonic Applications in Telecommunications, Sensors, Software, and Lasers, (16 November 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.567415
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew M. Gillooly, Aston Univ. (United Kingdom)
Lin Zhang, Aston Univ. (United Kingdom)
Ian Bennion, Aston Univ. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5579:
Photonics North 2004: Photonic Applications in Telecommunications, Sensors, Software, and Lasers
Donna Strickland; Trevor J. Hall; Stoyan Tanev; Xiaoyi Bao; Franko Kueppers; David V. Plant, Editor(s)

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