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Fiber Sensing

How does FOS work?

Sensuron’s FOS technology uses 200-micron diameter glass fibers that have been continuously inscribed with Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG). FBGs are the unique optical sensing element that turns ordinary telecom grade optical fiber into a powerful and robust sensing tool. These sensors act as embedded mirrors inside the fiber that reflect a specific wavelength. When an FBG fiber is bonded to a material and interrogated with light, the FBGs will reflect different wavelengths as the fiber is strained. This enables real-time monitoring of applications for precise measurement and unparalleled performance.

What do Sensuron’s FOS systems do?

Our technology makes the task of measuring multiple sensing points over large intricate surfaces easier by combining thousands of sensors on a single fiber. Beyond aerospace, medical and energy applications, Sensuron’s compact FOS technology has the ability to:

  • Increase public safety: Sensuron’s technology monitors the structural health of aircrafts, buildings, nuclear equipment, dams, automobiles, trains, etc.
  • Save resources: Sensuron’s compact FOS solutions lead to improved efficiency of wind turbines
  • Detect structural instabilities: Sensuron’s RTS125+ system monitors components and structures within tunnels, chemicals, or nuclear power plants
  • Enhance sensitivities: Sensuron’s technology improves the precision of medical instruments and industrial tools
  • Improve accuracy: Sensuron’s compact FOS systems precisely measure liquid levels in vats of chemicals, cryogenic liquids, fuel, water, oil, etc.

How is it different from other FOS technologies?

There are many differences between our platforms and other FOS technologies; however, our technology is industry leading when considering the combination of spatial resolution, refresh rate, and sensing length. For more details, please visit our page on fiber sensing basics.

Sensuron’s compact FOS technology combines the functions of a number of technologies, offering one solution that helps engineers solve problems across the aerospace, energy and medical industries. By improving the effectiveness of operations, our solution enables engineers to enhance their problem solving capabilities.

By analyzing changes in real-time, Sensuron’s technology increases the reliability of measurement and improves the safety of applications in demanding environments. This enables engineers to focus their energy on innovating beyond the problems of today and focus on the future. To see how Sensuron can enhance your applications, visit our solutions page.

Is it fragile?

While Sensuron’s compact FOS solutions are lightweight, embeddable and can be used in applications as delicate as minimally invasive surgery, they are among the most robust technologies on the market. Immune to EMI and chemically inert, Sensuron’s systems can operate effectively in hazardous and difficult physical environments. Impervious to temperatures ranging from -200 to 200°C, Sensuron’s technology will function effectively when legacy technologies would fail.


What can it withstand?

Unlike many legacy technologies, Sensuron’s solutions can withstand:

Temperatures between 200 to 200°C
Operating fiber bend radius 1 in
Fiber breaking point .1 in

What installation materials are required?

Sensuron’s compact FOS systems utilize similar installation tools used with strain gages, including: abrasive (sandpaper), glue for tacking the fiber down along the route and optionally for the whole installation, epoxy as the alternative for the primary installation adhesive (cyanoacrylate glue for the tacking down), mixing tools, gloves, eye protection, fume protection, alcohol or other cleaning solvents, preferred installation tool for “smearing” the epoxy (a brush, a q-tip, your finger and a sheet of lint-free wipe), pencil, and measuring tools for marking the route.

What is it used for?

Sensuron’s compact FOS systems have a diverse array of applications. The technology can be used to test, monitor and control:

  • Strain fields – By monitoring changes in strain fields in materials, Sensuron’s fiber sensing technology can help engineers evaluate durability and safety in structural health monitoring, validate finite element models, and verify structural designs.
  • Temperature profiles – By streaming light through an optical fiber and observing the reflections, Sensuron’s technology can monitor minute changes in the temperature profile along the optical fiber. This provides an accurate picture of the integrity of materials in applications from oil wells to airplanes.
  • 2d Deflection – Sensuron’s fiber sensing systems are able to determine the deflection of aircraft wings and other structures.
  • 3d Shape – Sensuron’s shape sensing technology provides information readings along the entire length of the fiber. Immune to EMI and RFI, Sensuron’s solutions can be used in minimally invasive procedures to guide instruments like catheters and needles with precision in real-time.
  • Distributed load – By monitoring the strain and stress characteristics of a distributed load throughout composite materials, Sensuron’s fiber sensing solutions can accurately reflect the integrity and health of a structure.
  • Liquid level – Sensuron’s systems are capable of monitoring liquid level in cryogenic tanks which enables advancements in spaceflight and other applications.

For additional applications, of our technology, please visit the aerospace, medical, or energy pages of our site.

What other materials are required?

For installation, recommended materials include lint-free wipes, non-residue-leaving tapes (such as flash breaker tape), rulers, protractors, and any other helpful route-marking tools.

Can you protect it?

Yes, Sensuron’s fibers can be protected by a variety of sealants and tapes. To learn more contact a Sensuron services engineer.

How does it adhere?

Sensuron’s compact FOS systems adhere using the same materials as traditional foil strain gage applications – typically a cyanoacrylate-based glue or a two-part epoxy for more critical and long-term installations. The substrate material is prepped by thoroughly cleaning the surface, abrading it, re-cleaning, tacking the fiber down to hold it along the desired route, and then applying the glue or epoxy. It is not unusual to install 2048 sensors in a single day.

How much can it bend?

Sensuron’s compact FOS systems have an operational bend radius of 1 inch and a breaking point of 2-3mm. By bending and routing the fiber along different material directions, the strain in many directions can be measured.

Is it embeddable?

Sensuron technology can function independently or as an integrated component.

Is it easy to apply, maintain, use, and understand?

Sensuron provides all the necessary training on handling, installing, and maintaining our systems and fibers so that our customers will be successful. Most people find applying fiber comparable to the installation of strain gages but one fiber can act as thousands of strain gages.

Is it easy to apply, maintain, use, and understand?

Sensuron provides all the necessary training on handling, installing, and maintaining our systems and fibers so that our customers will be successful. Most people find applying fiber comparable to the installation of strain gages but one fiber can act as thousands of strain gages.

Working with Sensuron FAQ

How do I know what technical specifications I need?

At Sensuron, we recognize that your project may require custom packaging and tools to meet your size, weight and performance requirements. We will work with your team to ensure that your application can benefit from our compact FOS solutions. Please contact us for more details.

What services do you offer?

The Sensuron engineering services team is comprised of experienced application and design engineers whose mission is to ensure customers’ satisfaction and success. We provide technical services for customers or prospective customers interested in advanced onsite training, product integration, feasibility studies, technical research and many other requests. Training is provided so that customers can learn to operate compact FOS equipment, apply fibers in their environment, and determine how to achieve new testing standards and evaluate data.

How long does the technology hold up in demanding environments?

A well-done installation should last as long as it is needed. For example, NASA has aircraft with installations from eight years ago that have survived many hours of flight, technician abuse, as well as sitting out on the hot Edwards Air Force Base tarmac. In order to guarantee a well-done installation, Sensuron’s engineering services team is available to conduct onsite training and provide product integration services.

What tools are needed in addition to the compact fiber sensing system?

Sensuron will provide the fiber and any specialty sensors your application may require. See “what installation materials are required?” Q&A for information about tools needed to install our system with your application.

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