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6 April 2012 Fiber optic shape sensing for monitoring of flexible structures
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Recent advances in materials science have resulted in a proliferation of flexible structures for high-performance civil, mechanical, and aerospace applications. Large aspect-ratio aircraft wings, composite wind turbine blades, and suspension bridges are all designed to meet critical performance targets while adapting to dynamic loading conditions. By monitoring the distributed shape of a flexible component, fiber optic shape sensing technology has the potential to provide valuable data during design, testing, and operation of these smart structures. This work presents a demonstration of such an extended-range fiber optic shape sensing technology. Three-dimensional distributed shape and position sensing is demonstrated over a 30m length using a monolithic silica fiber with multiple optical cores. A novel, helicallywound geometry endows the fiber with the capability to convert distributed strain measurements, made using Optical Frequency-Domain Reflectometry (OFDR), to a measurement of curvature, twist, and 3D shape along its entire length. Laboratory testing of the extended-range shape sensing technology shows
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Evan M. Lally, Matt Reaves, Emily Horrell, Sandra Klute, and Mark E. Froggatt "Fiber optic shape sensing for monitoring of flexible structures", Proc. SPIE 8345, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012, 83452Y (6 April 2012);

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