Fiber optic pressure sensing with conforming elastomers
A novel pressure sensing scheme based on the effect of a conforming elastomer material on the transmission spectrum of tilted fiber Bragg gratings is presented. Lateral pressure on the elastomer increases its contact angle around the circumference of the fiber and strongly perturbs the optical transmission of the grating. Using an elastomer with a Young's modulus of 20 MPa, a Poisson ratio of 0.48, and a refractive index of 1.42, the sensor reacts monotonically to pressures from 0 to 50 kPa (and linearly from 0 to 15 kPa), with a standard deviation of 0:25 kPa and maximum error of 0:5 kPa. The data are extracted from the optical transmission spectrum using Fourier analysis and we show that this technique makes the response of the sensor independent of temperature, with a maximum error of 2% between 25 °C and 75 °C. Finally, other pressure ranges can be reached by using conforming materials with different modulii or applying the pressure at different orientations.