The use of an optical fibre long period grating (LPG) as a soil moisture sensor is reported. Characterization of the device in both clay and sandy soils revealed a sensitivity to moisture levels in the range 10-50%, and the results were compared with the output from a Theta probe, the standard soil moisture sensor, which measures the impedance of the soil.
The use of optical fibre Bragg gratings (FBGs) to monitor the Interface Pressure Distribution (IPD) on an automotive disc brake pad under a variety of loading conditions is studied. The results demonstrate successful strain transfer from the brake pads to the attached FBG sensors under static loading, with a linear response to increasing pressure, and with the measured IPD showing good agreement with that recorded using pressure sensitive paper. Results are also presented demonstrating that changes in the IPD as a result of torque acting on the brake pads can be monitored by the FBG sensors.
The development of an ammonia sensor, formed by the deposition of a functionalised titanium dioxide film onto a tapered optical fibre is presented. The titanium dioxide coating allows the coupling of light from the fundamental core mode to a lossy mode supported by the coating, thus creating lossy mode resonance (LMR) in the transmission spectrum. The porphyrin compound that was used to functionalise the coating was removed from the titanium dioxide coating upon exposure to ammonia, causing a change in the refractive index of the coating and a concomitant shift in the central wavelength of the lossy mode resonance. Concentrations of ammonia as small as 1ppm was detected with a response time of less than 1min.
Two highly sensitive ammonia sensors, formed by depositing coatings composed of titanium dioxide (TiO<sub>2</sub>) onto the cladding of an optical fibre sensing platform, are evaluated. A long period grating (LPG) of period 111 μm was fabricated in the core of an optical fibre so that the LPG operates at or near the phase matching turning point (PMTP). The first coating that was investigated was composed of TiO<sub>2</sub> nanoparticles deposited by liquid phase deposition. The sensor showed high sensitivity and allowed low concentrations of ammonia in water (0.01 ppm) to be detected with a response time of less than 60 sec. The second coating was composed of TiO<sub>2</sub> with subsequent layers of poly (allyamine hydrochloride) (PAH), and SiO<sub>2</sub> nanospheres infused with a sensitive element composed of porphine. The ammonia adsorption to the porphine compound led to the changes in the LPG’s transmission spectrum and allowed 0.1 ppm of ammonia in water to be detected with a response time of less than 60 sec.