Long-term reliability requirements of fibre optic systems for remote sensing applications

Scott McCulloch, Gary Burnell, Tom Boon, R. R J Maier, James S. Barton, Peter B. Harrison, Euan J. Rigg, J. D C Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sensors based on optical fibre materials will be required to tolerate a restrictive combination of physical and environmental parameters for several remote monitoring applications at AWE. These include changes in atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, vibration, shock and acceleration, with the sensors being required to operate reliably for periods of up to 30 years with minimal intervention for maintenance. In addition, it is necessary that the sensors can function in the presence of ionising radiation. The sensors are being developed for a number of challenging in-situ physical and chemical measurements. These include remote gas composition analysis, monitoring shape change in compliant materials and the movement of metallic and polymeric components using sensors based on fibre Bragg gratings and interferometric techniques. Reliability issues include the long-term mechanical and optical performance of standard and novel glasses, optical fibres and cables, connectors, couplers, optical switches and Bragg gratings. The durability of materials used in the construction of fibre optic sensing components also requires to be assessed in addition to the epoxy and metallic coatings used to bond these components to a variety of material substrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - the International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventMicro-Optics, VCSELs, and Photonic Interconnects - Strasbourg, France
Duration: 27 Apr 200429 Apr 2004


  • Bragg gratings
  • Fibre optic sensor


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