Fiber Sensing – Point, Multi-point and Continuous
Optical fiber-based sensing is still a relatively small and specialized market but is growing rapidly due to the increasing availability of a wide range of lasers sources, detectors, fiber types, and interconnect options. Practical Laser excitation sources now exist covering much of the spectrum from UV to IR and low loss fibers to deliver power levels from nanowatts to 10s of watts.
Sources are available for single wavelength, differential (tunable) wavelengths, multi-wavelength, and broadband applications. Fibers exist for specific narrowband sources as well as ultra-broadband collection. Finally, specialized fibers for high temperature applications are available for time domain measurements taking OTDR-based interrogation into a wider range of application environments.
Berkshire is well positioned to take advantage of this growing, innovative market. It has long supported early R&D efforts, and practical problem solving for challenging sensing applications. Optimum fiber selection, packaging and connectorization can make the difference between system viability or not. Value will come from Berkshire engineered solutions but also from continued progress in higher power special light sources, better detectors, and innovative signal processing. The optical sensor market will grow based on overall engineering optimization.
Berkshire is focused on three categories of optical sensors:
- Applications where the fiber guides light from a sample or material to be measured
- Where fiber delivers “excitation” light of one or more wavelengths and guides the return signal back for detection and signal processing
- And finally, applications where the fiber is the sensor – for distributed sensing of temperature, strain, pressure, flow etc.
Optimum fiber design and selection; fiber coatings that insulate and protect the signal from noise inducing perturbations; materials and cable designs that allow fibers to deliver light and signal aver a wide range of temperatures and environments.
Berkshire has direct experience designing sensor cables for distributed fiber sensors, (such as DTS) and how they can best be used in special, high-resolution applications, with particular expertise in high and ultra-high (500°C) temperature environments.
To protect sensor probes and fibers from externally induced noise, such as low micro-bending loss and thermally insensitive probes; specialized detectors and detection schemes; modular laser sources with a wide range of wavelengths. Berkshire’s custom ferrule drilling capability enables the use of optimum fiber core/clad and NA combinations, increasing performance while reducing material costs.
Proven capability to develop fiber sensing systems that amplify environmental changes, thereby maximizing SNR in special distributed fiber (linear) systems.
Berkshire provides custom designed connectorized probes, light delivery cables and cables for intrinsic distributed optical sensing applications. Special cutoff singlemode fibers, Polarization Maintaining Fibers, high-temperature fibers, metal coated fibers; precision, low back reflection connectors; high-power fiber proximal coupling designs.
Contact Us at 860-868-0081 to discuss your optical sensing system. Whether for real-time process monitoring, R&D experiments, or novel environmental metrology, Berkshire Engineers Solutions.