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Proceedings Paper

Embedded fiber optics for structural health monitoring of composite motor cases
Author(s): Larry Christopher Heaton; Michael Kranz; Jeff Williams
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Paper Abstract

A fiber optic system intended to perform Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of composite motor cases has been investigated. The method described here allows for commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) optical fiber to be integrated into a cylindrical composite motor case prior to cure. The fiber requires no pre-processing before it can be placed inside the composite material. This allows the fiber to act as a distributed sensor not a point sensor as is the case with Bragg gratings and etalons. The distributed nature of the sensor also allows the output data to be naturally multiplexed without the need for complex software or hardware interfaces. After cure the optical fiber can be interrogated to determine a base-line scan of the motor. Subsequent scans can be taken of the motor to determine if damage of a sufficient nature has occurred that would require further investigation or retiring of the motor. In this study optimum wind patterns and proper placement of the optical fiber was investigated. In addition cost reductions of the instrumentation and the practicality of optical fiber egress options were undertaken.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 July 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5393, Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring of Aerospace Materials and Composites III, (20 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.540054
Show Author Affiliations
Larry Christopher Heaton, Morgan Research Corp. (United States)
Michael Kranz, Morgan Research Corp. (United States)
Jeff Williams, Morgan Research Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5393:
Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring of Aerospace Materials and Composites III
Peter J. Shull; Andrew L. Gyekenyesi, Editor(s)

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