Plastic Optical Fiber Displacement Sensor for Cracks Monitoring
In the following we present a low-cost optical system for cracks evolution monitoring. The transducer principle is based on the variation of light transmitted between two facing fibers with their axial distance, exploiting the unique light-collecting capabilities of large-core polymer optical fibers. The characterization shows that the working range of the transducer is up to 3.5cm, with a resolution of 10$m and a repeatability of 5$m. With our current custom-developed control unit, up to four transducers can be arranged to provide a multi-axial displacement sensor or to simultaneously monitor four points for distributed sensing. A closed-loop light modulation/detection scheme is implemented to reduce the environmental noise sensitivity. The control unit is interfaced to a PC via USB port or via GSM/GPRS modem to automatically send periodical reports of the measurements and to issue warnings in case of displacements above a given threshold. Extensive tests in an environmental chamber have been carried out in order to extract calibration curves and to compensate for day-night and summer-winter temperature fluctuations.
L. Garibaldi, C. Surace, K. Holford and W.M. Ostachowicz
M. Olivero et al., "Plastic Optical Fiber Displacement Sensor for Cracks Monitoring", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 347, pp. 487-492, 2007