Eric Udd
President at Columbia Gorge Research LLC
SPIE Involvement:
Conference Program Committee | Author | Editor | Instructor
Area of Expertise:
fiber optic sensors , aerospace , composites , high speed detection , high temperature , smart structures
Profile Summary

Eric Udd, President of Columbia Gorge Research has been deeply involved with fiber optic sensors since 1977 and helped pioneer early work on fiber optic gyros, fiber optic smart structures for health monitoring, high temperature and high speed fiber optic sensors systems, multi-axis strain sensors and fiber optic pressure sensors. He worked
for McDonnell Douglas from 1977 to 1993, where he managed over 25 DoD, NASA and internally funded fiber optic sensor programs. Mr. Udd has held a series of positions moving from Engineer/Scientist, to Manager-Fiber Optics, and in 1989 was appointed as one of 40 McDonnell Douglas Fellows. In 1993, he started Blue Road Research and directed the growth of the company through its acquisition by Standard MEMS in January 2000. In January 2006, Mr. Udd left Blue Road Research to found Columbia Gorge Research. He started Columbia Gorge Research with the intent of focusing strongly on the objective of moving fiber optic sensor technology to the field quickly and efficiently supporting both end users and developers of the fiber optic technology. These efforts have supported aerospace and defense, oil and gas, civil structure, medical and electric power applications.

Mr. Udd has 54 issued US Patents and several more pending on fiber optic technology, has written and or presented over 200 papers and chaired over 30 international conferences on fiber optic sensor technology. He books include Fiber Optic Sensors: An Introduction for Engineers and Scientists, Wiley, 1991 (second edition 2011), Fiber Optic Smart Structures, Wiley, 1995, Field Guide to Fiber Optic Sensors, SPIE Press, 2014, Design and Development of Fiber Optic Gyroscopes, SPIE Press, 2019. Mr. Udd is a Fellow of SPIE (1989) and OSA 2010) and a member of IEEE and the LEOS. Mr. Udd has been awarded the Richardson Medal for 2009 by the Optical Society of America for his work on fiber optic sensors and the field of fiber optic smart structures.
Publications (118)

Proceedings Article | 28 April 2020 Presentation + Paper
Proceedings Volume 11405, 1140502 (2020)
KEYWORDS: Gyroscopes, Fiber optic gyroscopes, Fiber lasers, Navigation systems, Manufacturing, Sensors, Laser development, Rockets, Backscatter, Beam splitters

SPIE Press Book | 31 July 2019
KEYWORDS: Fiber optic gyroscopes, Gyroscopes, Polarization, Sensors, Fiber optics sensors, Modulation, Phase shift keying, Birefringence, Fiber optics, Patents

Proceedings Article | 14 May 2019 Paper
Proceedings Volume 11000, 1100008 (2019)
KEYWORDS: Fiber optic gyroscopes, Gyroscopes, Patents, Prototyping, Fiber lasers, Rockets, Fiber optics, Laser applications, Fiber optics sensors, Sensors

Proceedings Article | 14 May 2019 Paper
Proceedings Volume 11000, 110000E (2019)
KEYWORDS: Sensors, Fiber optics sensors, Diffusion, Temperature metrology, Thermal effects, Composites, Fiber Bragg gratings

Proceedings Article | 14 May 2018 Presentation + Paper
Proceedings Volume 10654, 106540G (2018)
KEYWORDS: Fiber optics sensors, Sensors, Fiber optic gyroscopes, Gyroscopes, Fiber optics, Composites, Aerospace engineering, Acoustics, Defense and security, Roads

Showing 5 of 118 publications
Proceedings Volume Editor (45)

SPIE Conference Volume | 27 June 2022

SPIE Conference Volume | 4 May 2021

SPIE Conference Volume | 2 June 2020

SPIE Conference Volume | 26 July 2019

SPIE Conference Volume | 31 July 2018

Showing 5 of 45 publications
Conference Committee Involvement (65)
Optical Waveguide and Laser Sensors IV
13 April 2025 | Orlando, Florida, United States
Optical Waveguide and Laser Sensors III
22 April 2024 | National Harbor, Maryland, United States
Optical Waveguide and Laser Sensors II
1 May 2023 | Orlando, Florida, United States
Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications XVIII
4 April 2022 | Orlando, Florida, United States
Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications XVII
12 April 2021 | Online Only, Florida, United States
Showing 5 of 65 Conference Committees
Course Instructor
SC945: Optical Fiber Sensing Technology: Basic Principles & Applications in Defense and Security
This course describes optical fiber sensing principles and technology, as well as the associated specialty fiber types and components required for their system integration. A broad overview of diverse applications is made with a particular emphasis on defense and security. Key fiber sensing solutions will be reviewed including the usage of the Sagnac interferometer (fiber optic gyro—FOG) for guidance and control; acoustic detection and distributed sensing (using interferometric as well as Rayleigh, Raman and Brillouin scattering techniques) for underwater intrusion detection, littoral monitoring and perimeter security; fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) for localization and identification of damage—in vessels and aircraft—and for bio-chemical agent detection. Other relevant fiber sensors and applications in non-defense applications such as oil & gas, civil structures, energy, will be described as well.
SC1160: Fundamentals of Fiber Optic Sensor Design and Technology
This course explains basic principles and applications of fiber optic sensor technology. A primary goal of the course is to present the underlying principals associated with the design and application of fiber optic sensor technology. The course begins with an overview of the fundamental components associated with fiber optic sensors and how they interact to form intensity-based and interferometry-based fiber sensors. It then continues with an overview of physical fiber optic sensors starting with intensity-based sensors and continuing with those based on the Mach-Zehnder, Michelson and Sagnac interferometers. A review of fiber gratings and fiber-etalon-based sensors follows. Examples of applications are given in a wide variety of fields including aerospace and defense, civil structures, oil and gas, and composite manufacturing. The course continues with an examination of the important emerging areas of chemical and biological fiber sensors – including spectroscopic, refractometric, and more exotic types. Applications ranging from biomedical diagnosis to environmental monitoring will be discussed. Anyone seeking a rapid and effective introduction to the field of fiber optic sensor technology would benefit greatly from this course. It is intended to strongly complement and serve as an introduction to the <i>Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications Conference</i> associated with this Symposium.
WS756: How to Start a Small High Tech Business Almost Anywhere
This course focuses on the elements that can minimize investment capital and the time needed to set up a viable and vibrant small business with growth potential. For individuals contemplating or engaged in starting a small business, understanding the process can literally be the difference between success and failure. It is possible to set up such an entity within a large company, where one or a handful of individuals can grow new ideas and technology into high tech products that can have a significant impact on the competitiveness of the company. The course provides an overview of the skills necessary to operate a successful high tech business within a large organization, and points out how these skills can form the basis for developing small high tech businesses as spin-offs or standalone entities. It also addresses the steps needed to start a small high tech business, even under less-than-ideal conditions. Elements to be considered include: motivation; start up planning; types of organizations that can be operated; and the set up of structures that will greatly aid success. Crucial topics such as consulting, small business contracts, subcontracts, intellectual property, licensing, product development, long term planning, and mergers/acquisitions will be reviewed.
SC286: Design and Application of Fiber Optic Sensors
Improvements in optical components and fiber optic technology have enabled fiber optic sensors to be used in navigation systems for automobiles, the 777, the Dornier commuter aircraft, robots, and remotely piloted vehicles. These sensors are beginning to be used on bridges, dams and buildings to support civil structure applications. Structural health monitoring systems have also been used on hydrogen tanks for the DC-X and the X-33 demonstration vehicle. Other areas actively being pursued using fiber optic sensors include process monitoring, environmental sensing and biomedical applications. This course is intended to introduce elements of fiber optic sensor design while presenting a wide variety of real world application examples.
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