Alex Tongue is a Research Development and Applications Engineer at Sensuron, provider of distributed fiber optic sensing solutions for structural health monitoring, design optimization, thermal mapping, and 2D/3D shape sensing. Prior to Sensuron, Alex worked at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center as a Fiber Optics Aerospace Applications Engineer. He holds a Masters of Science in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Texas and is the recipient of the Sensors Expo Engineering Excellence Rising Star Award.
Fiber optics are replacing traditional sensors in many applications thanks to their noise immunity as well as their size, weight and power (SWaP) advantages that outperform strain gauges and thermocouples. A single fiber optic sensor can deliver data from all along its length compared to the point-specific data collected by conventional sensors. Fiber optics can measure strain, temperature, pressure, vibration and more for applications involving the most extreme conditions such as inside engines, power plants, nuclear reactors, aircraft, or in space, conflict zones and across heavy industries. This Sensuron presentation will describe how engineers are utilizing Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry (OFDR) fiber optic strain measurements to derive distributed shape. OFDR offers the ability to acquire strain measurements continuously along the length of an optical fiber. Coupled with fiber’s flexible routing options, this allows the capture of various data components of strain continuously or quasi-continuously along the length of substrates to which fibers are bonded. Sensuron has successfully applied its technologies in programmes working with NASA, SpaceX, Airbus, Boeing, Virgin Galactic, the Ministry of Defence and Tel Aviv University amongst many.