A review of the Fiber Optic Control System Integration program is presented relative to its degree of fiber optic sensor integration. The evolutionary stage of this integration is discussed in conjunction with the current day notion that fiber sensors have failed to proliferate as rapidly as anticipated ten to fifteen years ago. Several signs of hope and progress are noted.
We present a theoretical and experimental study of a tapered optical fiber-based sensor design that significantly increases optical detection sensitivities for measurement of small mechanical deflections in diaphragm-type fiber optic pressure sensors. By using tapered fibers, we experimentally observed up to eight-fold increases in optical signal modulation levels. We also discuss taper design considerations that maintain system optical power throughput and provide consistent increases in numerical apertures.
We present a novel dual-diaphragm-based, integrated pressure and temperature sensor design for aerospace applications that require accurate, durable, and temperature-compensated pressure sensors. We discuss potential improvement in the sensor's high-temperature capabilities, and demonstrate significant increases in signal-to-noise performance and accuracy, resulting from the dual-diaphragm design. We also describe an integrated optoelectronic transceiver design, employing a dual-wavelength error compensation approach, for pressure and temperature sensing. Other issues leading to practical sensor systems are also discussed.
Current trends of fiber optic sensor technology are in a direction of a broadening scope of sensor innovation based on a few basic concepts. Both single-mode and multimode fibers have their proponents: single mode for primarily interferometric sensors and multimode for primarily amplitude-modulated sensors. This paper illustrates four unique and innovative multimode sensor designs and also discusses the basic inhibition to more rapid utilization of optical fiber sensors. A case is made for more effort in standardization of optical fiber sensor interface design and integration requirements. To benefit the optical fiber sensor R & D and small business community, attention to system level requirements is necessary to encourage greater utilization and achieve greater exploitation of the benefits offered by optical fiber sensors.
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