The University of Southampton

Distributed Optical Fibre Sensors

Investigating novel distributed optical fibre sensors and laser designs for sensing applications the group are a leading player in the technological development of Distributed Optical Fibre Sensors.

Distributed Fibre Optic sensors offer unique possibilities for monitoring a wide range of variables. Their distinctive property is the ability to spatially resolve the measurand along the entire length of the sensing fibre. Two of the most important areas of interest are distributed temperature and strain measurements.

Typical applications include monitoring chemical processes in unfriendly environments such as pressure vessels, brick lined reactors ovens and driers, maximising efficiency in electrical power transmission fire detection particularly in underground or concealed locations, and general management of oil, liquid gas and chemical flows.

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PhD Projects:

Supervisor: Dr T Newson
Co-supervisors: Dr A Masoudi / Gilberto Brambilla

The distributed optical fibre sensors group investigates novel distributed optical fibre sensors. In the mid 1990s we researched distributed sensors exploiting Brillouin scattering to measure strain and temperature. Work then focussed on extending the range of such sensors to beyond a 100km sensing range combining in-line Raman amplification and remotely pumped erbium doped fibre amplifiers.

Since then the principal activity of the group has been to investigate coherent Rayleigh scattering for distributed dynamic strain and acoustic sensing. Work continues in this field and post graduate positions exist to further develop this area of research in collaboration with the institute of sound and vibration research at Southampton University.

The immediate objectives are to enhance the spatial resolution and bandwidth capabilities of such measurements for applications in the aerospace industry and develop suitable instruments for detecting the acoustic emissions from jet engines during static ground run-ups and fly over tests, both of which are currently performed using conventional microphones. The distributed nature of the fibre optic measurements provides significant advantages for mapping the acoustic field as compared to multiple point sensors.

Candidates should have a 1st or 2.1 degree in Physics or Electronics and ideally would have a good knowledge of optics, electronics, data handling and signal processing. Experience or interest in embedded system design would be advantageous but not essential.

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