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Multiplexed Hard-Polymer-Clad Fiber Temperature Sensor Using An Optical Time-Domain Reflectometer

Lee, Jung-Ryul;Kim, Hyeng-Cheol

  • Received : 2015.07.15
  • Accepted : 2016.02.24
  • Published : 2016.03.30

Abstract

Optical fiber temperature sensing systems have incomparable advantages over traditional electrical-cable-based monitoring systems. However, the fiber optic interrogators and sensors have often been rejected as a temperature monitoring technology in real-world industrial applications because of high cost and over-specification. This study proposes a multiplexed fiber optic temperature monitoring sensor system using an economical Optical Time-Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) and Hard-Polymer-Clad Fiber (HPCF). HPCF is a special optical fiber in which a hard polymer cladding made of fluoroacrylate acts as a protective coating for an inner silica core. An OTDR is an optical loss measurement system that provides optical loss and event distance measurement in real time. A temperature sensor array with the five sensor nodes at 10-m interval was economically and quickly made by locally stripping HPCF clad through photo-thermal and photo-chemical processes using a continuous/pulse hybrid-mode laser. The exposed cores created backscattering signals in the OTDR attenuation trace. It was demonstrated that the backscattering peaks were independently sensitive to temperature variation. Since the 1.5-mm-long exposed core showed a 5-m-wide backscattering peak, the OTDR with a spatial resolution of 40 mm allows for making a sensor node at every 5 m for independent multiplexing. The performance of the sensor node included an operating range of up to $120^{\circ}C$, a resolution of $0.59^{\circ}C$, and a temperature sensitivity of $-0.00967dB/^{\circ}C$. Temperature monitoring errors in the environment tests stood at $0.76^{\circ}C$ and $0.36^{\circ}C$ under the temperature variation of the unstrapped fiber region and the vibration of the sensor node. The small sensitivities to the environment and the economic feasibility of the highly multiplexed HPCF temperature monitoring sensor system will be important advantages for use as system-integrated temperature sensors.

Keywords

Smart structure;Hard-Polymer-Clad Fiber;Optical Time Domain Reflectometer;Laser clad stripping method

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Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea