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Proceedings Paper

A compact, portable and low cost generic interrogation strain sensor system using an embedded VCSEL, detector and fibre Bragg grating
Author(s): Graham C. B. Lee; Bram Van Hoe; Zhijun Yan; Oliver Maskery; Kate Sugden; David Webb; Geert Van Steenberge
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Paper Abstract

We present a compact, portable and low cost generic interrogation strain sensor system using a fibre Bragg grating configured in transmission mode with a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) light source and a GaAs photodetector embedded in a polymer skin. The photocurrent value is read and stored by a microcontroller. In addition, the photocurrent data is sent via Bluetooth to a computer or tablet device that can present the live data in a real time graph. With a matched grating and VCSEL, the system is able to automatically scan and lock the VCSEL to the most sensitive edge of the grating. Commercially available VCSEL and photodetector chips are thinned down to 20 μm and integrated in an ultra-thin flexible optical foil using several thin film deposition steps. A dedicated micro mirror plug is fabricated to couple the driving optoelectronics to the fibre sensors. The resulting optoelectronic package can be embedded in a thin, planar sensing sheet and the host material for this sheet is a flexible and stretchable polymer. The result is a fully embedded fibre sensing system - a photonic skin. Further investigations are currently being carried out to determine the stability and robustness of the embedded optoelectronic components.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 February 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8276, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XVI, 82760E (7 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.907810
Show Author Affiliations
Graham C. B. Lee, Aston Univ. (United Kingdom)
Bram Van Hoe, Astasense Ltd. (Belgium)
Zhijun Yan, Aston Univ. (United Kingdom)
Oliver Maskery, Astasense Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Kate Sugden, Astasense Ltd. (United Kingdom)
David Webb, Aston Univ. (United Kingdom)
Geert Van Steenberge, Ghent Univ. (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8276:
Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XVI
Chun Lei; Kent D. Choquette, Editor(s)

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