The University of Southampton

Fibre Bragg Gratings Group

Dynamic Displacement Measurement Techniques for Shock Physics Applications

Supervisor: Dr Morten Ibsen

The dynamic measurement of physical parameters in an explosively driven system is a difficult and often complex problem. With explosive systems reaching temperatures of 1000’s of degrees, pressures measured in GPa and velocities of several km/s, it is an extreme environment in which to make high precision measurements.

An important aspect of determining the optimum composition of a given fuel in an explosively driven system is the ability to measure the dynamics of the very rapid reaction. Optical fibres and fibre Bragg gratings have proven a reliable way of determining the detonation velocity of such fuel with very high precision, but so far extracting precise information about the underlying dynamics of the processes have proven elusive mostly because of a lack of sensor technologies capable of measuring the information. Fast, optical interrogation combined with novel fibre designs is likely to help provide this information and the aim of this project is to design and test an instrument which will provide accurate dynamic displacement data.

The project conducted in collaboration with colleagues at AWE will be of a mainly experimental nature but some theoretical modelling and design is required to support and plan for the experimental work. The project offers considerable opportunities for students who show strong innovation as well as a desire to broach new areas of science and technology.

Please contact Dr Morten Ibsen ( for more information on this project.

Key facts:

Entry requirements:         first or upper second-class degree or equivalent in a related discipline, such as physics or engineering.

Nationality:                      UK only

Closing date:                     1 July 2022

Duration:                          typically 3.5 years (full-time)

Funding:                           full tuition plus, and stipend

Assessment:                     9- and 18-month reports and viva voce; thesis examination.

Start date:                        October 2022

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.