Abstract

An intensity-referenced temperature-independent curvature-measurement technique that uses a smart composite that comprises two chirped fiber Bragg gratings is demonstrated. The two gratings are embedded on opposite sides of the composite laminate and act simultaneously as curvature sensors and as wavelength discriminators, enabling a temperature-independent intensity-based scheme to measure radius of curvature. Also, the system’s performance is independent of arbitrary power losses that are induced in the lead fibers to the sensing head. It is demonstrated that the measurement range depends on the relative positions of the chirped fiber Bragg gratings and on their spectral bandwidths. By using two chirped fiber Bragg gratings with bandwidths W1 = 2.8 nm and W2 = 3.7 nm and with central wavelengths at λ01 = 1560.3 nm and λ02 = 1563.7 nm, we obtained a resolution of 1.6mm/Hz for the measurement of the radius of curvature (∼R = 350 mm) over the measurement range 190 mm < R < ∞.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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