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An Improved Impact Source Locating System Using FBG Rosette Array

Chen, Shin

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For structures vulnerable to foreign object impact damages, it would be desirable to detect and locate any occurrence of such impacts. This can be achieved by monitoring the stress waves generated by an impact together with certain source localization algorithms. Being small, electromagnetic influence immune and durable, Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors are advantageous for this task. One drawback of FBGs for this purpose is their uneven directional sensitivity, which limits its localization ability to within 50° on either side of the fiber axis. Beyond this range, the signal is too weak and masked by noises and the location errors increase abruptly. Two approaches have been tested on a 0.8 m × 0.8 m × 6 mm plate for possible improvement on the system accuracy: firstly, an interrogation scheme with stronger light source intensity and steeper edge filter is employed to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio and system sensitivity; secondly, rosettes with two orthogonal FBGs are cascaded together to replace single FBGs to alleviate the directional sensitivity problem. It was found that a four-fold increase in signal to noise ratio contributed by stronger light source does improve the location accuracy, but only marginally. For the rosette approach, the relative positions of the Bragg wavelength of the FBGs and the light source spectrum are crucial to accuracy. Three different wavelength configurations have been tested and the reasons for their success or failure are discussed. It was shown that with an optimal wavelength configuration, the rosette array can virtually extend the good location accuracy to all over the plate.