Technology increases the sensitivity of infrastructural sensors by more than 50 times

October 2, 2017, Elhuyar Fundazioa

Technology from the Public University of Navarre monitors the structural health of infrastructure (bridges, viaducts, oil pipelines, gas pipelines, etc.) and can be used in intensity-based optical sensors that modify the amount of light in the system in the presence of physical as well as chemical changes, as explained in Sergio Rota's Ph.D. thesis read at the Public University of Navarre (NUP/UPNA).

"Ever since burst onto the scene in telecommunications, many developments based on its properties have emerged," said Sergio Rota. "So over the last few decades, the rapid evolution of fibre-optics-based systems and the appearance on the market of other devices has caused research in this field to advance considerably. Apart from the use of fibre optics in telecommunications, new applications have emerged, thus leading to new families of devices. Two of them of particular interest are fibre-optic lasers and fibre-optic ."

Both devices are based on fibre optics, a means of transmitting information via light. A laser is a device that emits light through optical amplification and by stimulating the emitting of electromagnetic radiation. Fibre-optic sensors are devices in which the parameter that is going to be measured (physical, chemical, biological or of another type) inserts modifications or modulations into one of the characteristics of the light in the optical system contained in it and allows it to be monitored.

Sergio Rota's research was based on the development of advanced fibre-optic structures for lasers and sensors. "The aim was to improve the properties of both, and their monitoring systems, besides tackling the problems that they pose," said the author of this Ph.D. thesis, which received a "cum laude" distinction with international mention.

He developed a Rayleigh scattering distributed cavity (known as ), the narrowest to date. Lasers of this type are characterised by the absence of reflective elements used in conventional lasers, thus improving the properties of the electromagnetic spectrum for monitoring sensors.

Furthermore he has improved some of the sensor monitoring elements in such a way that he has improved parameters such as their range (up to measurements of 250 km), sensitivity and stability.

Explore further: Longest fiber-optic sensor network developed

Related Stories

Longest fiber-optic sensor network developed

September 6, 2012

In her PhD thesis, Montserrat Fernández-Vallejo, a telecommunications engineer and graduate of the UPNA-Public University of Navarre, has experimentally developed various fibre-optic sensor networks for the remote monitoring ...

Applications of optical fibre for sensors

March 26, 2015

Mikel Bravo-Acha's PhD thesis has focused on the applications of optical fibre as a sensor. In the course of his research, conducted at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre, he monitored a sensor fitted to optical fibre ...

Sensors for measuring the properties of tiny amounts of fluid

June 1, 2015

Researchers in Singapore have developed fibre-based "optofluidic" sensors for measuring the properties of tiny amounts of fluid. The innovation increases the sensitivity of measurements and makes it less expensive for researchers ...

Recommended for you

Paleontologists report world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex

March 22, 2019

University of Alberta paleontologists have just reported the world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed "Scotty," lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.