Fiber Optic Acoustic Emission Monitoring System for Condition Based Maintenance

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-10-C-0326
Agency Tracking Number: N091-077-1244
Amount: $749,388.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N091-077
Solicitation Number: 2009.1
Small Business Information
67 East Evelyn Ave., Suite 3, Mountain View, CA, -
DUNS: 928805761
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 An-Dien Nguyen
 senior physicist
 (650) 965-7772
Business Contact
 Anthony O'Keefe
Title: CEO
Phone: (650) 965-7772
Research Institution
Los Gatos Research is developing light-weight, low-cost, real-time, compact, multi-channel fiber optic (FO) acoustic emission (AE) system for condition based maintenance applications. Using a novel laser-based optical fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensor interrogation technique combined with state-of-the-art AE method, the instrument is capable of simultaneously measuring strain, temperature, and AE with high resolution and high sensitivity, and is scalable for integrated, multipoint sensing. The high detection sensitivity and accuracy are achieved by the inherently stable laser frequency tracking scheme which integrates the laser control electronics and photo-detector signals together in a dynamic feedback loop circuit to provide stable laser wavelength locking to the Bragg wavelength of the BG sensors. In Phase I, we have demonstrated the FO sensor’s capability to detect real AE sources from crack growth on an aluminum structure under loading. Pencil lead break (PLB) tests were performed, and the FO sensors demonstrated reasonably good AE signal detection sensitivity and reproducibility close to that of piezoelectric sensors. In Phase II, a field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based multi-channel FO conditioning module, FBG sensors, and AE software and hardware will be integrated into a compact, stand alone, adaptive, dynamically reconfigurable system with AE detection sensitivity comparable to piezoelectric-based AE instrumentation.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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