Advantages for sensor applications of long-period gratings (LPGs) in special optical fibers are reported. Two consecutive LPGs separated by 60 to 100 mm interfere to improve the resolution and reduce noise in a highly doped fiber with inner cladding and in a D-shaped fiber. These gratings provide good contrast to increase the resolution for sensing applications, with or without access to the surroundings along the fiber. The mode profiles of the devices were characterized experimentally to gain deeper insight into the improved functionality.
We present an optical fiber bend sensor with enhanced resolution based on the principle of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer in transmission. The sensor is based on two identical Long-Period Gratings separated by approximately 100 mm in a D-shaped single-mode optical fiber. The sensor provides a narrow resonance bandwidth compared to a typical resonance from a Long-Period Grating. The sensor was recoated with low refractive index polyimide and embedded on a fiber-glass base plate before it was characterized as a bending sensor.
D-shaped optical fibres are coated with silica nanoparticles by horizontal dip and slide method. Visual determination of film coverage is difficult. Thick coatings are discernible through thin film interference coloring but thinner coatings require SEM imaging. Here, we show that fluorescence imaging, using Rhodmaine B in this example, can provide some qualitative assessment of coverage.
The room temperature deposition of self-assembling silica nanoparticles onto D-shaped optical fibres (“D-fibre”), drawn from milled preforms fabricated by modified chemical vapor deposition, is studied and preliminary results reported here. Of various techniques explored, an automated “dip-and-withdraw” approach is found to give the most reproducible layers. Vertical dip-and-withdraw produces tapered layers with one end thicker (surface coverage < 0.85) than the other whilst horizontal dip-and-withdraw produces much more uniform layers over the core region. The problem of induced fracturing is shown to originate from the sides of the D-fibre flat, attributed to an extended, linear “coffee stain effect”, and is greatest for horizontal dip-and-withdraw. Under optimal preparation conditions they can be minimised and prevented from extending over the core region. Alternatively, these structures can be made periodic potentially enabling some unique structures to be fabricated since post-deposition of functional species will be highest in these cracks.
With the rapid growth of wind turbines and focus on maintenance costs structural measurements are becoming essential. Fiber-optical sensors have physical properties that make them suitable for embedding in wind turbine blades, such as small size and immunity to electrical interferences. Fiber-optical grating sensors can be utilized to provide important information regarding strain, temperature, and curvature of the blades, which can be applied in condition-monitoring to detect fatigue failure and furthermore for optimization of the production from the wind turbine. We provide an overview of the current status and a discussion on research and implementation of fiber Bragg gratings and long-period gratings in wind turbine blade sensors.