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Proceedings Paper

Fiber Optic Photoelastic Pressure Sensor For High Temperature Gases
Author(s): Laurence N. Wesson; Alex S. Redner; Robert J. Baumbick
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Paper Abstract

A prototype fiber optic pressure sensor has been demonstrated which is capable of accurate measurement of gas pressure at ambient temperatures up to 650 C. Based on the photoelastic effect, the pressure sensor incorporates a transparent diaphragm fabricated from fused silica. This choice of materials provides advantages of practical and inexpensive fabrication, complete absence of residual stress or natural birefringence, near-perfect elasticity, and resistance to temperatures up to 1100 C. The light used to address and interrogate the sensor diaphragm is transmitted on commonly-available aviation-type fiber optic cable, allowing the use of relatively high powers and the associated high signal-to-noise ratio. Unpolarized and incoherent light is used, so that any susceptibility to cable perturbations is minimized. This requires that the light be polarized within the sensor itself, which was achieved by the creation of a unique high-temperature polarizer fabri-cated from the same material as the sensor diaphragm. The necessary fiber optic connectors were located on remote standoffs, where the tem-perature could be kept below 150 C, and the optical power was conveyed further within the sensor by silica light pipes. Tests of the prototype sensor have demonstrated measurement of gas pressure up to 600 psi, at sensor temperatures from 25 to 650 C, with a total error at any temperature of 2 psi or less.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 February 1990
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1169, Fiber Optic and Laser Sensors VII, (13 February 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.963042
Show Author Affiliations
Laurence N. Wesson, Aurora Optics, Inc. (United States)
Alex S. Redner, Strainoptic Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Robert J. Baumbick, NASA Lewis Research Center (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1169:
Fiber Optic and Laser Sensors VII
Ramon P. DePaula; Eric Udd, Editor(s)

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