Here’s How Fiber Optic Sensors Work

A fibre optic sensor is a fiber-based device that uses optical fibres to measure values like mechanical strain or temperature, chemical species concentrations, and acceleration.

In distant sensing applications, these sensors are most commonly utilised. In most fibre optic sensor systems, light wavelength shift or the time delay as light travels over the fibre are used to multiplex the signals from each sensor.


Fiber optic sensor systems use photoelectric sensing technology and have three photoelectric sensing modes: retroreflective, through-beam, and diffuse reflective. There are two types of fibre optic sensing systems used in these modes: single sensors and bifurcated sensors.


The emitter and receiver cable assemblies are combined in a bifurcated fiber-optic assembly for detection, which is used for both diffuse reflective and retroreflective sensing. A light beam from the emitter to receiver is interrupted while using an Omron fiber sensor Malaysia through-beam mode, and each separate sensing system detects how much light is lost in the process.


Electromagnetic interference is not a problem for fibre optic sensors because they don’t conduct electricity. As a result, they can be employed in situations involving combustible materials or electricity of a high voltage.


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Sensors that Use Fiber-Optic Technology

Light from lasers or other superluminescent sources is sent down an optical fibre, where it undergoes changes in its characteristics due to the optical fibre or Bragg gratings, before reaching a detector that monitors those changes. This idea underlies the operation of fibre optic sensors.


When it comes to a fibre optic sensor system, a fiber-optic cable is used to connect a remote sensor or an amplifier. A glass or plastic core is sandwiched between two layers of cladding material in a fibre optic cable.


Since the core and layer have different densities, the cables can work according to a principle known as total internal reflection, which stipulates that light striking a border between two components will be completely reflected with no loss of light energy. A sensor/detector uses the reflected light to create an electrical signal, which is subsequently sent to a processor.


Fibre Optic Sensors Have Many Advantages

Small and lightweight fibre optic sensors are available. Because they can withstand high temperatures and explosive situations, these materials also make them acceptable for use in high-voltage applications where electrical sparks aren’t a concern.


Fiber optic sensors also have a high level of immunity to electromagnetic and radio frequency interference, making them ideal for military applications. They are extremely sensitive, have a large field of view, great resolution, and may multiplex.



Fiber optic sensors can be found in a wide range of devices. A fibre optic sensor measures mechanical strain for evaluating mechanical parameters. As a result, they can also be used to monitor other things including acceleration, velocity, and temperature.


Fiber optic sensors can be utilised in heritage structures to evaluate post-seismic damage, crack analysis, restoration monitoring, and displacement monitoring. Similarly, leaks, foundation flaws, and spatial displacement can all be detected and monitored in dams.