Abstract

Operational load monitoring and impact damage detection are the two critical aspects of aerospace structural health monitoring (SHM). Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors have demonstrated great potential in both. But the currently available interrogation systems can only handle one of the two types of SHM capabilities offered by FBG sensors. In addition, the practical implementation of FBG sensor systems in aerospace vehicles requires the interrogator to be small size, light weight, and low-power consuming. In this paper, we present an Echelle diffractive grating (EDG) based interrogation system for FBG sensors, which possesses two operation modes, i.e., the sweeping mode for operational load monitoring and the parked mode for impact damage detection. Experimental results show that this interrogator offers better than 1-pm measurement resolution and 10-pm repeatability. In addition, the interrogation system is very compact and weighs less than 60 g (excluding the electronic controller). It also has the potential to achieve a measurement speed of 300 kHz and be powered by a battery.

© 2013 Crown

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