Abstract

We present what we believe to be a novel miniaturized sensor configuration based on fiber Bragg gratings for simultaneous measurement of curvature and temperature in smart structures and composite materials. Because of the particular geometry of the sensing head, it is possible not only to measure the radius of curvature but also to determine the plane of curvature. We arrange three Bragg gratings in the vertices of the smallest equilateral triangle that can be defined by the cross sections of the fibers. The set is then inserted into a glue-filled capillary stainless-steel tube to provide both suitable protection for the Bragg sensors and rotational symmetry to the sensing head. This tube also ensures isolation from axial strain, allowing for the additional determination of temperature. The proposed sensing head is particularly well suited for applications in smart structures because it can be embedded along any layer of a composite material (including the neutral line) without special concern for the relative orientation of the Bragg gratings and the composite layers. We can also use this sensing configuration to implement more-sophisticated sensors dedicated, for example, to the measurement of multiaxial acceleration or flow and temperature.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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