Fiber Bragg Grating Interrogation Systems
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This thesis work deals with the development of three different categories of interrogation techniques for Fiber Bragg Grating based sensor networks. Such networks are used for structural health monitoring and other applications. A bulk grating based interrogation system is described first, which includes an optical source, switch, circulator, embedded controller, and software. The center wavelength determination technique employed is detailed and is shown to be highly accurate from test data. The comparison with resistance strain gauges is presented which shows that the system developed provides an accurate strain reconstruction. The system is also compared with a commercial optical spectrum analyzer and is found to exhibit good accuracy and fidelity. The system has been field tested on an aircraft structure with 14 sensors spread over 4 channels. Strain data reconstruction from these tests is shown to accurately reproduce the loading conditions. A second system developed is based on the matched filter technique using a mechanical fiber stretcher; the details of this system are presented with a mathematical treatment of the technique. The design of the fiber stretcher is also described. This design is regarded to be novel since it tries to provide large interrogation bandwidths using a parallel topology. The results of tests have shown good resolution and comparative tests with resistance strain gauges have shown accurate reproduction of strain. Finally, an interrogation system based on a wavelength tunable source is presented. This system is a precursor to a time division multiplexed interrogation system, which has also been described. Three laser configurations have been set up and characterized. The laser sweep tests have been performed on two configurations and a sensor grating reconstruction test has also been carried out.
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