A novel fiber optic sensing technology for high frequency dynamics detection is proposed in this paper, specifically tailored for structural health monitoring applications based on strain wave analysis, for both passive impact identification and active Lamb wave monitoring. The sensing solution relies on a fiber optic-based interferometric architecture associated to an innovative coherent detection scheme, which retrieves in a completely passive way the high-frequency phase information of the received optical signal. The sensing fiber can be arranged into different layouts, depending on the requirement of the specific application, in order to enhance the sensor sensitivity while still ensuring a limited gauge length if punctual measures are required. For active Lamb wave monitoring, this results in a sensing fiber arranged in multiple loops glued on an aluminum thin panel in order to increase the phase signal only in correspondence to the sensing points of interest. Instead, for passive impact identification, the required sensitivity is guaranteed by simply exploiting a longer gauge length glued to the structure. The fiber optic coherent (FOC) sensor is exploited to detect the strain waves emitted by a piezoelectric transducer placed on the aluminum panel or generated by an impulse hammer, respectively. The FOC sensor measurements have been compared with both a numerical model based on Finite Elements and traditional piezoelectric sensors, confirming a good agreement between experimental and simulated results for both active and passive impact monitoring scenarios.
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