Since research began on optical fiber sensors, claims have been made for their safety in hazardous environments without objective evidence. Research has, however, now commenced which will establish quantitatively the safe operating power levels for employing light-based techniques in such environments. This paper describes the current state of knowledge in this field in relation to one potentially hazardous mechanism: a particle being heated by incident radiation to the point where an explosion is triggered. The relative lack of knowledge has led to the establishment of a new European R&D project, involving participants in France, Germany, and the UK. This program is described and placed in context as an enabling step to encourage wider industrial use of optical measurement techniques.
Peter McGeehin, Peter McGeehin,
"Are optical fiber sensors intrinsically, inherently, or relatively safe?", Proc. SPIE 1504, Fiber-Optic Metrology and Standards, (1 September 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.46971; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.46971