Abstract

This Letter demonstrates the application of polymer optical fibers (POFs) damaged by the fiber fuse effect to curvature sensing and dynamic angular monitoring. The curvature sensing performance using the fused-POF is compared to POF without the fuse effect. Both POFs are submitted to angles of up to 90 deg in flexion/extension cycles with angular velocities ranging from 0.48 rad/s to 5.61 rad/s. The fused POF is found to show higher performance with respect to sensitivity, correlation coefficient with linear regression, and hysteresis. For instance, at the angular velocity of 0.48 rad/s, the fused POF shows >3 times higher sensitivity and significantly lower hysteresis than those of the non-fused POF. In addition, the fused POFs have lower cross-sensitivity and hysteresis variations on the tests with different angular velocities. These results indicate that the fused POFs are potential candidates to develop curvature sensors with various advantages over non-fused POFs, for applications such as gait analysis and wearable robotics.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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