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POF Strain Sensor

AMS Technologies AG

MARTINSRIED, Germany, Feb. 24, 2014 — AMS Technologies has announced a polymer optical fiber (POF) based strain sensor for applications including wind turbine blade load management and structural health monitoring.

Based on a patented optical phase interrogation technique developed by Avago Technologies, the sensor enables the POF to be used as a strain sensor on par with those based on current fiber Bragg gratings.

The optical sensor employs the POF to form a “meander path” sensor array that allows a single fiber to form multiple loops that fit in a confined area. When strained, these loops alter the phase of an optical signal injected into the fiber.

A separate reference loop that is not strained surrounds the meander path and is used to compare the reference signal to the strained signal, and the difference in phase between the two signals can be converted into the strain measurement. The reference fiber simultaneously provides temperature compensation. Because the sensing array contains only optical fibers, it is immune to electromagnetic and electromagnetic compatibility-related interference and is completely electrically isolated from the rest of the system.

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