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Optical fibre sensors, past, present and future - a personal view

Optical fibre sensors, past, present and future - a personal view
Optical fibre sensors, past, present and future - a personal view
The field of optical fibre sensors has been an attractive area of research, ever since the mid 1980s, at a time when optical fibre communications technology had already started to find commercial success. The area was of great academic interest because of the wide variety of direct and indirect interactions with these new optical waveguides, both physical and chemical, which were seen to be possible. Much of the early research, mostly by academics who had previously worked in fibre communications, was highly speculative, and initially found very little commercial application. Even then, however, many confidently believed it to have great future potential. The difficulty at that time was that most existing electrical sensors were relatively cheap, and of course this technology was far more mature, whereas the fibre sensor area lacked many of the simple building blocks necessary for simple, reliable and cost-effective production. Many of the early sensors therefore, quite naturally struggled to find a competitive position. Since then, the many years of research has resulted in an increasing variety of available low-cost optical fibre components becoming available and the research on the sensor technology has lead to many truly useful sensors for what are still niche areas, but ones having real commercial potential. As a result, prospects for wider application are becoming better each year.
The paper will start in a tutorial manner, by discussing and classifying the types of optical fibre sensors, discuss the care that has to be taken in their design, and will include a few case studies of some of the very early sensors. It will then go on to describe where several types of sensors have found successful application in the last decade. Finally, the author will discuss the areas where he believes they are likely to find increasing commercial success in future.
Please note that the paper will present a personal view of the area, by a research scientist/engineer who has worked in the optical fibre sensors field since 1986, initially as an industrial researcher and later returning as an academic, and who is now active as a freelance consultant in the area.
Dakin, J.P.
04891b9b-5fb5-4245-879e-9e7361adf904
Dakin, J.P.
04891b9b-5fb5-4245-879e-9e7361adf904

Dakin, J.P. (2010) Optical fibre sensors, past, present and future - a personal view. Microelectronics, Devices and Materials Conference (MIDEM ), Slovenia. 29 Sep - 01 Oct 2010.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

The field of optical fibre sensors has been an attractive area of research, ever since the mid 1980s, at a time when optical fibre communications technology had already started to find commercial success. The area was of great academic interest because of the wide variety of direct and indirect interactions with these new optical waveguides, both physical and chemical, which were seen to be possible. Much of the early research, mostly by academics who had previously worked in fibre communications, was highly speculative, and initially found very little commercial application. Even then, however, many confidently believed it to have great future potential. The difficulty at that time was that most existing electrical sensors were relatively cheap, and of course this technology was far more mature, whereas the fibre sensor area lacked many of the simple building blocks necessary for simple, reliable and cost-effective production. Many of the early sensors therefore, quite naturally struggled to find a competitive position. Since then, the many years of research has resulted in an increasing variety of available low-cost optical fibre components becoming available and the research on the sensor technology has lead to many truly useful sensors for what are still niche areas, but ones having real commercial potential. As a result, prospects for wider application are becoming better each year.
The paper will start in a tutorial manner, by discussing and classifying the types of optical fibre sensors, discuss the care that has to be taken in their design, and will include a few case studies of some of the very early sensors. It will then go on to describe where several types of sensors have found successful application in the last decade. Finally, the author will discuss the areas where he believes they are likely to find increasing commercial success in future.
Please note that the paper will present a personal view of the area, by a research scientist/engineer who has worked in the optical fibre sensors field since 1986, initially as an industrial researcher and later returning as an academic, and who is now active as a freelance consultant in the area.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 2010
Venue - Dates: Microelectronics, Devices and Materials Conference (MIDEM ), Slovenia, 2010-09-29 - 2010-10-01
Organisations: Optoelectronics Research Centre

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 340075
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/340075
PURE UUID: 1b4df777-5dc9-4c4d-9530-0a32fbf7544a

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Date deposited: 13 Jun 2012 09:09
Last modified: 05 Sep 2019 16:30

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