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23 April 2010 Self-heated fiber Bragg grating sensors for cryogenic environments
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Cryogenic fuels are often considered as major energy alternatives to coal and petroleum based fuels. Safe and reliable sensor networks are required for on-demand, real-time fuel management in cryogenic environments. In this paper, a new sensor design is described that enhances the low-temperature performance of fiber sensors. FBGs inscribed in high attenuation fiber (HAF) are used to absorb in-fiber power light to raise the local sensor temperature in the cryogenic environment. When in-fiber power light is turned off, FBG sensors can serve as passive sensors to gauge temperature and stress in the cryogenic system. When the in-fiber power light is turned on, the heated sensors can be used to rapidly gauge fuel level and fuel leaks. In one example, a hydrogen gas sensor is demonstrated with a palladium-coated fiber Bragg grating (FBG). The low-temperature performance of the sensor was improved by heating the gratings as much as 200 K above the ambient temperature, and hydrogen concentration well below the 4% explosion limit was measured at 123K. In a second example, an array of four aluminum coated fiber Bragg gratings was used to measure liquid level in a cryogenic environment.
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Tong Chen, Philip R. Swinehart, Mokhtar S. Maklad, Michael P. Buric, and Kevin P. Chen "Self-heated fiber Bragg grating sensors for cryogenic environments", Proc. SPIE 7677, Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications VII, 76770F (23 April 2010);

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