What is it about?

This is a comprehensive review of papers about distributed optical fiber pressure sensors. The sensors analyzed are strictly distributed (no quasi-distributed are considered). The works are classified according to the transducer mechanism in: - sensors based on enhanced and engineered coatings or structures inducing strain under pressure; - sensors based on engineered fibers that under pressure undergo to a birefringence change; - sensors based on fibers whose losses change under pressure. Then, the sensors of the first two classes are further classified with respect to the optical technique (either Rayleigh or Brillouin-based ones) used for the interrogation.

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Why is it important?

Up to our knowledge, this is the first review that focuses on distributed pressure sensing. Despite the distributed pressure sensing is often claimed as possible, it has been proven only for very high-pressure levels. In the current years, there is an increasing interest in extending the distributed pressure sensing capability towards smaller values. This would broaden the fields of application of this technology to many geotechnical, chemical and industrial problems, still unsolved due to the lacking of suitable technology.

Perspectives

This paper was written during COVID lockdown, but my interest in the topic begins many months before. I found that many concepts that are often presented as innovative, are instead dated back to the 80s’ when a small number of great scientists explored the features of proper coating engineering. I hope this paper will drive other researchers to address distributed pressure sensing, which, I believe, will find proper implementations very soon.

Dr Luca Schenato
National Research Council Italy

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Distributed optical fiber pressure sensors, Optical Fiber Technology, September 2020, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.yofte.2020.102239.
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