Cost-effective industrial-grade strain-sensing based on OPI

Avago Technologies is announcing a cost-effective polymer optical fibre (POF)-based strain sensor for industrial applications. Based on a patented optical phase interrogation (OPI) technique developed by Avago Technologies, the product enables the readily available POF to be used as a high-precision strain sensor on par with current fibre Bragg grating (FBG)-based strain sensors for a broad range of applications including wind-blade load management in wind turbines and structural health monitoring for a variety of other structures.

OPI sensor features:

  • Uses cost-efficient, mass producible polymer optical fibre as the sensor element
  • Has a high elastic strain range (>5 per cent) giving a large dynamic range
  • Easy handling and easy installation
  • High sensitivity and accuracy
  • EMI/EMC immunity
  • Rugged sensor electronics for sensing gauge implementations

The optical sensor employs the POF to form a "˜meander path' sensor array that allows a single fibre to form multiple loops that fit in a confined area. These loops, when strained, will alter the phase of an optical signal injected into the fibre. A separate reference loop that is not strained surrounds the meander path and is used to compare the reference signal with the strained signal, and the difference in phase between the two signals can be converted into the strain measurement. The reference fibre simultaneously provides temperature compensation. Since the sensing array only contains optical fibres, it is immune to EMI and EMC-related interference and is completely electrically isolated from the rest of the system.

Martin Weigert, general manager of Avago's Industrial Fiber Product Division explains: "Avago Technologies has supplied large quantities of POF cables and communication modules for industrial networking and data communication applications and has amassed a significant amount of experience in both markets." By leveraging that experience, the development of the industrial optical sensing technology is a natural extension of the company's core competence, allowing the company to address a fast-growing market. Weigert continues: "Our proprietary optical phase interrogation method has enabled us to offer a disruptive strain sensing solution using POF - a worthy alternative to conventional strain sensing technologies, electrical and optical, for a number of applications."

Avago has engaged in a number of applications connected to the wind energy industry and is currently installing sensors into a multi-megawatt conceptual turbine for both wind blade and tower load monitoring. In this market the technology plays out all its advantages offering a rugged alternative to conventional strain measurement technologies.

Avago has assembled a developer's kit to help designers test and evaluate the sensor technology. The kit consists of a length of polymer optical fibre, the optical phase interrogator, and all the necessary documentation to create a strain sensor with the fibre and evaluate the results. The developer kit will be available starting in January of 2014.

Avago is currently evaluating the implementation of its technology for a number of applications. For evaluation prior to market release please contact your local Avago sales representative for further information regarding the technology and the availability of the evaluation kit. Follow the link for further information on the Avago POF strain sensor.

Broadcom Inc

350 W Trimble Rd Bldg 90
San Jose, CA 95131

+44 (0)20 7216 0004

More products
15 hours ago
Beckhoff UK and HepcoMotion’s mechatronics showcase takes centre stage
Automation technology specialist Beckhoff UK, in collaboration with leading manufacturer of linear motion systems, HepcoMotion, hosted a mechatronics showcase at MK7, the home of Oracle Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes, with several innovations from both companies on display, as well as a brand-new product reveal – the GFX-r guidance system.
16 hours ago
PPMA re-brand puts automation at the heart of UK manufacturing
The PPMA Group of Associations has re-branded and has changed its name to AutomateUK to better represent the needs of its membership and their end user customers in the ever-changing manufacturing landscape.
3 days ago
steute Technologies restructures its business fields
steute Technologies, an international technology company offering switches, intelligent sensors and wireless systems, has announced a comprehensive restructuring of its business fields.
3 days ago
Showcasing design, production and process engineering in the food and drink sect
Taking place on 1 May 2024 at the National Motorcycle Museum, Food Manufacturing Live serves the design, production, process and maintenance engineering teams across the UK food and drink manufacturing sector.
4 days ago
Understanding safety and security for the protection of human and machine
How do you master employee protection, liability protection, productivity and data protection? How do you increase your quality and simultaneously prevent manipulation on your machines? How do you protect your data and employees in equal measure? Pilz is hosting a free webinar on 15 December, 9:30-10:30 am, to address just these questions.
4 days ago
Schaffner opens new regional channels for its range of EMC solutions
EMC solutions provider, Schaffner, announces new partnerships with three distributors to further broaden the reach and scope of its product range and support services across Europe. The new agreements with Telerex, CATS and DSL Components will open new supplier corridors and enable customers to have local and faster access to products.
4 days ago
New SCARA robot transforms pick-and-place and assembly operations
ABB Robotics is expanding its industrial SCARA robot portfolio with the addition of the IRB 930. The new robot, compromising three variants capable of handling 12 kg and 22 kg payloads, has been designed to meet the demands of new growth opportunities in traditional and new markets.
4 days ago
Pilz CMSE training in high demand, as 10,000th graduate qualifies
With the CMSE qualification (Certified Machinery Safety Expert), Pilz created a completely new training programme for machinery safety in 2013. After a decade Pilz is now proud to congratulate the 10,000th graduate to successfully complete the CMSE examination.
5 days ago
New eBook offers expert insights on embedded security
Mouser Electronics announces a new eBook produced in collaboration with global semiconductor leader Analog Devices (ADI). In Embedded Security: Keeping Edge Data Safe, experts from ADI and other companies take a deep look at embedded security concepts and their importance.
5 days ago
New era beckons at UK’s largest online valve supplier
Gary Hopkinson, founder of Valves Online, a sales partner for Bürkert, has announced his retirement, planned for the end of this year. In March, the UK’s largest online valves supplier underwent a business acquisition by R&G Fluid Power Group. Gary has been assisting the transition while Valves Online is set to retain its successful business model.

Login / Sign up