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Sensors 2017, 17(2), 251; doi:10.3390/s17020251

Localized Temperature Variations in Laser-Irradiated Composites with Embedded Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors

1
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, US Naval Academy, 105 Maryland Ave, Annapolis, MD 21402, USA
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, US Naval Academy, 590 Holloway Rd., Annapolis, MD 21402, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 27 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Fiber Bragg Grating Sensing)
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Abstract

Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) temperature sensors are embedded in composites to detect localized temperature gradients resulting from high energy infrared laser radiation. The goal is to detect the presence of radiation on a composite structure as rapidly as possible and to identify its location, much the same way human skin senses heat. A secondary goal is to determine how a network of sensors can be optimized to detect thermal damage in laser-irradiated composite materials or structures. Initial tests are conducted on polymer matrix composites reinforced with either carbon or glass fiber with a single optical fiber embedded into each specimen. As many as three sensors in each optical fiber measure the temporal and spatial thermal response of the composite to high energy radiation incident on the surface. Additional tests use a 2 × 2 × 3 array of 12 sensors embedded in a carbon fiber/epoxy composite to simultaneously measure temperature variations at locations on the composite surface and through the thickness. Results indicate that FBGs can be used to rapidly detect temperature gradients in a composite and their location, even for a direct strike of laser radiation on a sensor, when high temperatures can cause a non-uniform thermal response and FBG decay. View Full-Text
Keywords: fiber Bragg gratings; temperature sensors; polymer matrix composites; high energy radiation; strain sensors; structural health monitoring; smart structures fiber Bragg gratings; temperature sensors; polymer matrix composites; high energy radiation; strain sensors; structural health monitoring; smart structures
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Jenkins, R.B.; Joyce, P.; Mechtel, D. Localized Temperature Variations in Laser-Irradiated Composites with Embedded Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors. Sensors 2017, 17, 251.

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