Investigation of smart multifunctional optical sensor platform and its application in optical sensor networks

  • Pang, C. (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland) ;
  • Yu, M. (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland) ;
  • Gupta, A.K. (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland) ;
  • Bryden, K.M. (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University)
  • Received : 2012.01.08
  • Accepted : 2012.11.20
  • Published : 2013.07.25


In this article, a smart multifunctional optical system-on-a-chip (SOC) sensor platform is presented and its application for fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensor interrogation in optical sensor networks is investigated. The smart SOC sensor platform consists of a superluminescent diode as a broadband source, a tunable microelectromechanical system (MEMS) based Fabry-P$\acute{e}$rot filter, photodetectors, and an integrated microcontroller for data acquisition, processing, and communication. Integrated with a wireless sensor network (WSN) module in a compact package, a smart optical sensor node is developed. The smart multifunctional sensor platform has the capability of interrogating different types of optical fiber sensors, including Fabry-P$\acute{e}$rot sensors and Bragg grating sensors. As a case study, the smart optical sensor platform is demonstrated to interrogate multiplexed FBG strain sensors. A time domain signal processing method is used to obtain the Bragg wavelength shift of two FBG strain sensors through sweeping the MEMS tunable Fabry-P$\acute{e}$rot filter. A tuning range of 46 nm and a tuning speed of 10 Hz are achieved. The smart optical sensor platform will open doors to many applications that require high performance optical WSNs.


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