For decades, point sensing solutions like strain gauges and thermocouples have been good enough for most applications of strain and temperature measurement, however, the mindset of ‘good enough’ often blocks innovation. New, robust sensing technologies that can monitor beyond the scope of point sensors are necessary to enable the next generation of designs. Fiber optic sensing platforms that obtain spatially continuous, real time data and can sense multiple parameters simultaneously can accelerate product innovation through easier installation, by collecting comprehensive data, combining multiple sensing capabilities into a single platform and more.
The limitations to point sensors are not about accuracy or reliability, rather it is about insight. Many organizations have innovated beyond their ability to test and monitor their designs. Strain gauges cannot collect data about how forces are distributed throughout a structure, but only give information about critical areas. In contrast, fiber optic sensing systems that can obtain spatially continuous data (distributed data) are able to monitor full strain fields and temperature gradients. By monitoring both critical points and everywhere in between, distributed strain and temperature measurements give engineers unprecedented insight into the behaviors of their designs that legacy technologies simply cannot accomplish.
Benefits of Distributed Strain and Temperature Measurements
Enhance Model Validation
One of the core benefits of distributed strain and temperature data is that engineers can more efficiently and confidently validate their FEA and thermal models. By monitoring full strain fields, such sensing systems are able to determine how loads are distributed throughout a structure. This information can help engineers refine their models to avoid costly failures later in the development process or after the product has launched.
Unlike legacy technology which only collects data at critical points, Sensuron’s fiber optic sensing platforms collect fully distributed strain and temperature data. This allows engineers to observe how a structure behaves both at critical points and everywhere in between. Many of our customers have used the technology to validate their thermal or structural models or to conduct tests in conditions where other sensors cannot operate.
Ensure the Safety of Structures
One challenge facing Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems today is a lack of fine spatial resolution from sensors. Sensuron’s fiber optic sensing systems help overcome this challenge by providing spatial resolution down to 6.3 mm. The distributed data provided by the system as well as real time monitoring capabilities provide a continuous monitoring solution for SHM using global vibration information.
Model validation and improving processes both contribute to accelerating development, but the ability to monitor multiple parameters at the same time can significantly speed up the development process. Existing data acquisition hardware is capable of supporting multiple sensor types, however, the weight of the cables and tedious installation of sensors make legacy solutions cumbersome to deploy in multiple kinds of tests. Multi-sensing platforms, simply put, are sensor technologies that can monitor multiple parameters (strain, temperature, deflection, etc.) simultaneously and are robust enough that they can be deployed in multiple applications across an organization and utilized throughout the product lifecycle.