Strain and Temperature Applications in Aerospace
Distributed sensing using optical fibers can provide a much more detailed view of the strain and temperature gradients within a system. Sensors are small, lightweight, immune to EMI, radiation-resistant, and can be embedded in or adhered to a material’s surface. Example applications include monitoring full-field wing fatigue behavior, measuring composite patch repair delamination, and detecting bleed air leakages.
Everyone in the testing world is familiar with the need for strain and temperature measurements on components as well as full-scale structures. These measurements are required for design and model validation as well as reliability determination. Standard sensors such as resistive foil gages for strain measurements, and thermocouples for temperature, are usually readily available in test labs. While these methods are proving indispensable for system characterization, single point sensors are inherently limited in their ability to provide full-field information.
Written by Dr. Brian Soller and Dr. Aida Rahim