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Proceedings Paper

Application of finite-length displacement sensors to load measurements in a model tail rotor torque tube
Author(s): Kara J. Peters; Peter D. Washabaugh
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Paper Abstract

Recently it has been observed that it is theoretically possible to place long fiber optic displacement sensors on structures that are generally loaded while still maintaining the ability to exactly discriminate signals of interest. The chief advantage of such finite-length fiber optic sensors is that the sensitivity of the measurement scales not only with the maximum strain along the path but the length of the sensor as well. One consequence of this scaling property is that 'smart' structures incorporating such a measurement approach could be sensitive yet still have low maximum strains. In other words, the sensitivity of the measurement is partially de-coupled from the stiffness of the structure. This theoretical result is true for simple prismatic structures composed of a linear elastic homogeneous material with arbitrary end loading, and with perfectly positioned displacement sensors. Two model tail rotor torque tubes have been constructed and verify the essential elements of the analysis. However, the use of long displacement sensors effectively integrates signals of interest along the measurement paths and are thus susceptible to accumulated manufacturing errors. Deviations from this pristine state to more practical structures are further investigated both experimentally and analytically. Minimizing the sensitivity to certain manufacturing errors by careful design of the structure is also discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 1995
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2447, Smart Structures and Materials 1995: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (12 May 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.209335
Show Author Affiliations
Kara J. Peters, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Peter D. Washabaugh, Univ. of Michigan (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2447:
Smart Structures and Materials 1995: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies
C. Robert Crowe; Gary L. Anderson, Editor(s)

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