What Are Fiber Bragg Gratings?

Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBGs) are optical interference filters that are inscribed into optical fibers with UV light. FBG sensors consist of an optical fiber containing a series of microscopic gratings. The gratings reflect a specific wavelength of light while allowing other wavelengths to pass through. By analyzing changes in the pattern of the reflected light, it is possible to determine variations in the environment around the sensor. In simple terms, they are small sections of optical fibers that reflect a specific color of light and can be used to measure parameters like temperature, strain, pressure, and acceleration.

One of the primary benefits of FBG sensors is their ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions. They are resistant to electromagnetic interference, corrosion, and extreme temperatures, making them ideal for use in the challenging environment of an aircraft. This resilience means that FBG sensors can provide accurate and reliable data for extended periods, without the need for frequent maintenance or replacement.

FBG sensors are widely used in the aeronautics industry for various applications. Specific applications of FBG sensors in aeronautics (for example) are:

  1. Structural Health Monitoring: FBGs can be embedded in the structure of an aircraft, such as the wings or fuselage, to measure strain and detect any potential damage or deformation. This allows the early detection of problems, which can prevent more serious issues from developing.
  2. Engine Monitoring: FBG sensors can also be used for monitoring engine components such as turbine blades, compressor blades, and fuel lines. These sensors can detect changes in temperature and strain, allowing for early detection of potential engine failures.
  3. Flight Testing: FBG sensors can be used in flight testing to measure parameters such as wing deformation, engine vibrations, and other structural responses. This data can help engineers improve the design and performance of aircraft.

Overall, FBG sensor technology offers a reliable and accurate way to monitor and measure various parameters in aeronautics, providing crucial data for improving aircraft design, performance, and safety. Here you can watch what these sensors look like!