Fibre Optic Sensing is a rapidly growing application field for Photonics Integrated Circuits (PIC) technology. PIC technology is regarded enabling for required performances and miniaturization of next generation fibre optic sensing instrumentation. So far a number of Application Specific Photonics Integrated Circuits (ASPIC) based interrogator systems have been realized as operational system-on-chip devices. These circuits have shown that all basic building blocks are working and complete interrogator on chip solutions can be produced. Within the Saristu (FP7) project several high reliability solutions for fibre optic sensing in Aeronautics are being developed, combining the specifically required performance aspects for the different sensing applications: damage detection, impact detection, load monitoring and shape sensing (including redundancy aspects and time division features). Further developments based on devices and taking into account specific space requirements (like radiation aspects) will lead to the Space Gator, which is a radiation tolerant highly integrated Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) interrogator on chip. Once developed and qualified the Space Gator will be a giant leap for fibre optic sensing in future space applications.
One of the promising space applications areas for fibre sensing is high reliable thermal mapping of metrology structures for effects as thermal deformation, focal plane distortion, etc. Subsequently, multi-point temperature sensing capability for payload panels and instrumentation instead of, or in addition to conventional thermo-couple technology will drastically reduce electrical wiring and sensor materials to minimize weight and costs. <p> </p>Current fiber sensing technologies based on solid state ASPIC (Application Specific Photonic Integrated Circuits) technology, allow significant miniaturization of instrumentation and improved reliability. These imperative aspects make the technology candidate for applications in harsh environments such as space. One of the major aspects in order to mature ASPIC technology for space is assessment on radiation hardness. This paper describes the results of radiation hardness experiments on ASPIC including typical multipoint temperature sensing and thermal mapping capabilities.