FBG technology is gaining presence in various industrial sectors for measuring a wide variety of physical phenomena, such as temperature, pressure or strain. FBG sensors are engraved in optical fibres and each sensing element reflects a given wavelength when illuminated.
The present ARTES 5.2 project aims at providing a significant step forward towards the pre-qualification of the technology for space, providing redesign of both the FBG sensors and specially the interrogation unit electronics following space design techniques. The objective of this project is to develop, manufacture and characterize a full demonstrator, including sensors, fiber and interrogation electronics, up to TRL 5. The monitoring system includes redundancy to fiber cuts and the unit can be easily configured, being suitable to acquire different kinds of FBG sensors.
The design is based on space-qualified components when possible, while the non-qualified optoelectronic components have been identified within the project and a validation plan has been defined and implemented for each of these components.
An EM has been manufactured using equivalent components (military quality) and a pre-qualification testing campaign has been undertaken on the implemented prototype to validate it.
Although FBG technology is widely used in various industrial fields, it has not yet been developed for space applications.
The main challenge in this project is to adapt this technology following space design techniques at competitive prices versus current standard technologies. Key challenges:
The main advantages of this technology are:
FBG technology has a clear advantage with respect to the classical sensor acquisition technologies for what concerns harness complexity (up to 20 sensing elements per fibre), power consumption (sensing elements are not stimulated by electrical power) and weight, while the accuracy of the measurements is comparable.
For a launcher or a telecom satellite these advantages would translate into:
Key Design Features
General calibration curve: ±1ºC
Individual (look-up table): ±0.2ºC
(Height x Depth x Width). 160 mm x 233.5 mm x 52 mm
Standby, with no acquisition: 6 W
Operational, at room temperature: 9 W
Operational, whole temperature range: 12.3 W
Next figure shows a block diagram of the FOS system. It is composed by several elements:
Main system architecture elements are:
The project is accomplished from the Kick Off to the Final Report and the development is divided in three periods until reaching TRL5. An additional activity has been carried out integrating the design inside the Modular RTU to progress towards TRL6 of this technology.
The project has been completed
TRL5 reached for FOS Technology