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Open AccessArticle

Discerning Localized Thermal Heating from Mechanical Strain Using an Embedded Distributed Optical Fiber Sensor Network

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.
Sensors 2020, 20(9), 2583; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092583
Received: 2 April 2020 / Revised: 24 April 2020 / Accepted: 30 April 2020 / Published: 1 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiber Optic Sensing Technology)
Prior research has demonstrated that distributed optical fiber sensors (DOFS) based on Rayleigh scattering can be embedded in carbon fiber/epoxy composite structures to rapidly detect temperature changes approaching 1000 °C, such as would be experienced during a high energy laser strike. However, composite structures often experience mechanical strains that are also detected during DOFS interrogation. Hence, the combined temperature and strain response in the composite can interfere with rapid detection and measurement of a localized thermal impulse. In this research, initial testing has demonstrated the simultaneous response of the DOFS to both temperature and strain. An embedded DOFS network was designed and used to isolate and measure a localized thermal response of a carbon fiber/epoxy composite to a low energy laser strike under cyclic bending strain. The sensor interrogation scheme uses a simple signal processing technique to enhance the thermal response, while mitigating the strain response due to bending. While our ultimate goal is rapid detection of directed energy on the surface of the composite, the technique could be generalized to structural health monitoring of temperature sensitive components or smart structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: distributed optical fiber sensors; temperature sensors; polymer matrix composites; high energy radiation; strain sensors; structural health monitoring; smart structures; strain compensation distributed optical fiber sensors; temperature sensors; polymer matrix composites; high energy radiation; strain sensors; structural health monitoring; smart structures; strain compensation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jenkins, R.B.; Joyce, P.; Kong, A.; Nelson, C. Discerning Localized Thermal Heating from Mechanical Strain Using an Embedded Distributed Optical Fiber Sensor Network. Sensors 2020, 20, 2583. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092583

AMA Style

Jenkins RB, Joyce P, Kong A, Nelson C. Discerning Localized Thermal Heating from Mechanical Strain Using an Embedded Distributed Optical Fiber Sensor Network. Sensors. 2020; 20(9):2583. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092583

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jenkins, R. B.; Joyce, Peter; Kong, Adam; Nelson, Charles. 2020. "Discerning Localized Thermal Heating from Mechanical Strain Using an Embedded Distributed Optical Fiber Sensor Network" Sensors 20, no. 9: 2583. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092583

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