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  • Fiber optic sensors market seen hitting $1.6 billion mark

Photonics Spectra
Dec 2008
Caren B. Les,

WELLESLEY, Mass. – The US fiber optic sensors market is expected to reach $1.6 billion in 2014, up from $235 million in 2007 with a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent, according to a fall 2008 technical market report from BCC Research titled “Fiber Optic Sensors” (Report code: IAS002D).

In 2007, the intrinsic fiber optic sensors market, generating $170 million, was larger than the extrinsic segment. With an annual growth rate of 35 percent, the intrinsic market is expected to jump to $1.4 billion by 2014. The extrinsic market segment is projected to increase in value from $65 million in 2007 to $219 million in 2014, with a compound annual growth rate of 12 percent, according to the company’s analyses.


The value of the US fiber optic sensors market, by type, is shown in USD millions for 2007, and projected from 2008 to 2014. Courtesy of BCC Research.

With their capacity to measure temperature, pressure, humidity, acceleration and strain, fiber optic sensors are currently used in systems that monitor optical networks, oil reserves, and the condition of pipelines and bridges, and by geologists to create 3-D maps of underground reservoirs and rock formations. The report indicates a growing market for the sensors in national border surveillance applications and in biomedical applications, if new devices are able to meet performance standards.

Unlike electronic sensors, fiber optic sensors can operate in harsh environments and are unaffected by electromagnetic interference. Because the electronic devices are less expensive and more familiar to customers, however, they will likely continue to be used in applications that don’t require the characteristics that differentiate fiber optic sensors.

The fiber optic sensors market could experience competition from new wireless technologies, which in some applications provide bandwidth advantages at lower costs. With the slowing of the telecommunications sector, companies are making an effort to find new applications for the technology.

In terms of speed of function, optical technologies show great promise. An increase in fiber optic sensing options could enable engineers and developers to make all-optical systems a reality, according to the report.

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