National Physical Laboratory

Fibre rules

Fibre rules

NPL has worked with industry specialists to develop a field guide for the application of fibre optic Bragg sensors used to measure strain on large industrial structures.

The Challenge

Strain measuring fibre optic Bragg sensors can provide an early warning of structural weaknesses on bridges, aircraft and oil rigs, enabling cost-saving maintenance to be scheduled before these structures become unsafe. However a lack of approved standards has hindered their adoption across a wider range of industries and there is also a need for guidance on correct application of the sensors and analysis of the resulting data.

The Solution

NPL combined the expertise of Europe’s largest defence company, BAE Systems, with fibre optic specialists Insensys and Smart Fibres Ltd to develop a field guide for the use of fibre optic Bragg sensors.

The result is a robust set of rules to provide consistent and reliable methods of measuring strain with fibre optic Bragg sensors. The collaborative approach gave a better understanding of how the sensors should be used and the conditions under which they have to operate.

"The partnership approach was useful. It was very helpful to have NPL’s rigorous technical input. The project had real commercial focus and has provided a baseline from which we can now move on."
Robert Knapp, Insensys

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Last Updated: 12 Aug 2011
Created: 30 Sep 2010