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Fiber Sensors Probe Engine

Photonics Spectra
Apr 2003
As carmakers try to reduce the harmful emissions from gasoline-powered engines, efforts focus on controlling engine performance using data from sensors. A team from Texas A&M University in College Station and Fiber Dynamics Inc. in Bryan, Texas, has integrated a fiber optic sensor and a spark plug to provide in-cylinder pressure information.

The researchers demonstrated sensitivities as high as 0.00339 rad/psi using the intrinsic fiber Fabry-Perot interferometer, as described in the Feb. 20 issue of Applied Optics. Monitoring the pressure on the sensors, they employed a semiconductor laser emitting near 1300 nm to measure changes in the reflectance of the metal-coated fiber.


GLOSSARY
fiber optic sensor
Any device in which variations in the transmitted power or the rate of transmission of light in optical fiber are the means of measurement or control. Fibers can be used to measure temperature, pressure, strain, voltage, current, liquid level, rotation and particle velocity.
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