An investigation into performance criteria for Fibre Bragg Grating sensors embedded in composite structures
- Authors: Roberson, Craig Valentine
- Date: 2014-09-17
- Subjects: Bragg gratings , Fiber optics , Diffraction gratings
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:12338 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/12124
- Description: M.Ing. (Mechanical Engineering) , The dissertation explores the applications and limitations of optic Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors for the purpose of structural health monitoring of high performance composite aerospace structures. The absence of a set of stringent performance criteria governing the form and function of a sensory system for embedded high performance applications highlights the major hurdle to be overcome before widespread acceptance of these technologies becomes apparent. The dissertation therefore develops through an extensive literature study a basic framework of performance criteria to be met by the sensory system upon which a prototype Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system can be further developed. The resolution of the performance criteria into categories of mechanical and non-mechanical performance allows independent evaluation of factors that directly affect the performance of the sensor (in terms of strength, embeddability and load carrying ability) as well as its functional performance (in terms of orientation, spatial resolution and measurement philosophy). The literature study uses the non-mechanical performance limitations as a guideline for the selection of Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors as the sensory mechanism. The mechanical performance limitations of these specific sensors are then called into question and evaluated. Independent experiment campaigns are therefore developed to evaluate the mechanical and non-mechanical performance limitations such that a set of performance criteria can be developed governing the use of embedded sensory systems. Non mechanical performance with particular emphasis on sensor placement and orientation is investigated by simulating a fixed-free Euler Bernoulli cantilever using the Finite Element Method (FEM). The ability of the sensor to identify structural changes by measuring changes in modal response shows good results. Furthermore the inability of modal based monitoring to identify structural changes in the vicinity of modal inflection points is identified as an opportunity to locate structural deficiencies by monitoring multiple modes with known inflection point positions. The method also provides recommendations of sensor placement and orientation (close to the beam fixture and parallel with the neutral axis) such that the effectiveness of strain component measurements from all measurable modes is maximised. Mechanical performance of embedded FBG sensors is evaluated through an extensive fracture testing program which measures the fracture strains of fibre samples subjected to two-point bending. The fracture test program allows the quantification of the effects of the presence of the fibre’s protective polymer coating on fibre embeddability in composites, the consequent effects that the removal of this coating has on the mechanical performance and fracture behaviour of FBG sensors. These effects are qualified and mitigatory measures developed to improve the mechanical performance. A system of crack masking, hydrofluoric acid etching and fibre treatment is developed and statistical data analysis methods are employed and refined such that improvements in the mechanical properties of the FBG sensors can be quantified. An evaluation of the effectiveness of the proposed mechanical performance improvements yields good results culminating in the development of a comprehensive set of mechanical performance criteria to facilitate further development of a reliable SHM system.
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Characterization of Bragg grating pressure sensor using finite element analysis theory and experimental results
- Authors: Van Niekerk, Wynand F.
- Date: 2010-10-04T08:55:31Z
- Subjects: Bragg gratings , Fiber optics , Pressure transducers , Finite element method
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:6925 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3435
- Description: M.Ing. , Optical fibre Bragg gratings are a periodic variation of the refractive index in the core of an optical fibre andmay be formed by exposure to intense UV laser light under specific conditions. Light at a certain wavelength, called the Bragg wavelength, is reflected back when illuminating the grating with a light source. Bragg gratings can relatively easily be employed as strain and temperature sensors, but have small sensitivity for pressure. Special transducers are required to increase the sensitivity. A pressure sensor was manufactured by coating a fibre Bragg grating with a polymer. The polymer coating converts transverse pressure into longitudinal strain through the Poisson effect inside the polymer coating. This thesis investigates the sensitivity of themanufactured Bragg grating pressure sensor, by using the method of finite element analysis. An account of the experimental setup, whereby the Bragg grating is written with a frequency tripled Nd:YAG laser, is given. The process whereby the fibre is coated with the polymer is described. The sensor is characterized through experimental results and a comparison is made between theoretical and experimental results. Uses for this sensor and ways with which the sensitivity may be increased are suggested as future work.
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Numerical modelling of an Erbium-Ytterbium co-doped distributed feedback fiber laser
- Authors: Mpoyo, Justice Sompo
- Date: 2015-06-26
- Subjects: Erbium , Fiber optics , Optical communications , Bragg gratings
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:13635 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/13815
- Description: M.Phil. (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) , A numerical model of an Erbium-Ytterbium co-doped distributed feedback (DFB) fiber laser is developed. The DFB fiber laser is a short length fiber laser whose feedback is distributed throughout the cavity. Its main advantage is its single longitudinal mode operation. The amplifying medium of a DFB fiber laser is a few centimetres long rare earth doped fiber. The feedback is obtained by a fibre Bragg grating printed in the core of the rare earth doped fiber. This type of laser emits naturally in two longitudinal modes. To obtain the single longitudinal mode operation, a π phase shift is introduced in the middle of the grating. Erbium doped DFB fiber lasers present the advantage of emitting single frequency light in the 1550 nm region where telecommunication fibers present the minimum loss. However due to the relatively short length of the gain medium, the number of available Erbium ions is small; as a result pump power absorption is low and the efficiency of the fiber laser is strongly reduced. The straightforward solution to this problem could be increasing the concentration of Erbium ions. This solution however has the disadvantage of increasing the Erbium ions interactions, thus leading to detrimental effect like cooperative upconversion and excited state absorption, which in term reduce considerably the laser efficiency. The best solution is to use Ytterbium ions as sensitizers along with Erbium ions to enhance the pump absorption, hence the efficiency of the laser. A model of the DFB fiber laser is an indispensable tool for its design, because it allows one to predict characteristic behaviour that would be both difficult and costly to deduce in laboratory conditions. The model developed in this project is based on rate equations of the Er3+-Yb3+ gain medium and coupled mode equations describing the laser field propagation in the fibre Bragg grating structure. The equations are solved using a quasi-analytical iterative method along with transfer matrix method with appropriate boundary conditions. The quasianalytical method used in this thesis is more robust than numerical solutions because it does not require providing an initial guess on the solution. Furthermore this method is hundreds time faster than the exact numerical solution while giving almost similar results.
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Towards the fabrication of polymer optical fibre Bragg gratings at 980 nm
- Authors: Terblanche, Johannes Theodorus
- Date: 2012-09-10
- Subjects: Fiber optics , Bragg gratings
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:9908 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/7307
- Description: M.Ing. , Bragg gratings written in polymer optical fibres are much more sensitive to temperature and strain measurements than silica fibre with a lower Young's modules and higher temperature coefficient. The good biocompatibility of polymer fibres makes them ideal medical sensors for in vivo strain and temperature measurements as well as excellent chemical sensors that can easily be doped with organic compounds. Most of the Bragg gratings in polymer optical fibres are inscribed around 1550 nm where the attenuation is as large as 1 dB/em. Grating fabrication was investigated at 980 nm where the attenuation was discovered to be optimal (less than 0.1 dB/em). The polymer optical fibre was spliced to silica optical fibre through butt-coupling and affixed with optical adhesive to produce transmission loss of between 7 and 25 dB (at 980 nm). Preliminary results show that it may be possible to create fibre Bragg gratings in polymer optical fibre at 980 nm. Gratings inscribed in fibre with an energy density of between 80 and 150 mJ/cm2 supplied by Paradigm Optics (MORFOP3) had a repeatability of 25%. With the fibres supplied by Prof. Peng (PBzMA- PEMA- PMMA co-polymer) a success rate of more than 90% was achieved when using energy densities around 70 mJ/cm2 • However, these gratings were weak and disappeared within 48 hours. The strength of these gratings varied from grating to grating. The reason of this instability is unknown and should be further investigated. The temperature sensitivity of polymer optical fibre at 976 nm was found to be -100 ±17 pm;oc corresponding with the reported value of -94 pm;oc at 976 nm.
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