A team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh developed an all-optical high temperature sensor used in gas flow measurements that can operate at temperatures above 800 degrees Celsius. This demonstration boasts a 200 degree improvement over a previous demonstration of MEMS-based sensors developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The team integrated optical heating elements, optical sensors, an energy delivery cable, and signal cable all within a single optical fiber. The use of optical-fiber sensors was ideal because of their remarkable multiplexing capabilities and immunity to EMI. The team was able to group together many of these sensors into one fiber to eliminate wiring problems traditionally associated with having a large number of leads. This technology will be utilized in industrial sensing applications where conditions are harsh, but the team is investigating how to integrate this technology into common engineering devices.