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With distributed optical fibre sensors, a single source, a single detector, and a single fibre can be used for up to 1000 fibre Bragg grating sensors. However, this multiplexing architecture is not robust. Damage to any of these individual components can render the entire sensing system useless. To achieve a robust structural health monitoring system, this type of multiplexing cannot be utilised. To overcome the lack of robustness associated with multiplexing optical fibre sensors together, intelligence along with sensors needs to be distributed around a structure. Distributed Optical Fibre Smarts Sensing (DOFSS) represents a sensing architecture for the structural health monitoring of robust aerospace vehicles. The distribution of intelligence around the structure means that communications and power for the network are a significant consideration. Since optical fibre will be utilised for the sensing, then these “wired” links, can easily be utilised for power. The optical fibre links could also be utilised for the distribution of power around the sensor network. In this work, we investigate the distribution of sensing, communications, and power for DOFSS.
Date of Conference: 7-10 Dec. 2010