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Proceedings Paper

Structural health monitoring using smart optical fiber sensors
Author(s): Heddwyn Davies; Lorna A. Everall; Andrew M. Gallon
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the potential of a smart monitoring system, incorporating optical fiber sensing techniques, to provide important structural information to designers and users alike. This technology has application in all areas including aerospace, civil, maritime and automotive engineering. In order to demonstrate the capability of the sensing system it has been installed in a 35 m free-standing carbon fiber yacht mast, where a complete optical network of strain and temperature sensors were embedded into a composite mast and boom during lay-up. The system was able to monitor the behavior of the composite rig through a range of handling conditions and the resulting strain information could be used by engineers to improve the structural design process. The optical strain sensor system comprises of three main components: the sensor network, the opto-electronic data acquisition unit (OFSSS) and the external PC which acts as a data log and display. Embedded fiber optic sensors have wide ranging application for structural load monitoring. Due to their small size, optical fiber sensors can be readily embedded into composite materials. Other advantages include their immediate multiplexing capability and immunity to electromagnetic interference. The capability of this system has been demonstrated within the maritime environment, but can be adapted for any application.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 April 2001
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4234, Smart Materials, (6 April 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.424399
Show Author Affiliations
Heddwyn Davies, Smart Fibres Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Lorna A. Everall, Smart Fibres Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Andrew M. Gallon, Smart Fibres Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4234:
Smart Materials
Alan R. Wilson; Hiroshi Asanuma, Editor(s)

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