|Location:||MIT Lincoln Laboratory, 3 Forbes Road, Lexington, MA 02420|
|Dinner Reservation Deadline:||January 16, 2017 @ 6pm|
Photons over electrons: Optical Fiber Sensors For Measuring Small Signals In Harsh Environments
Joint Meeting with Boston Chapter, IEEE Photonics Society
Optical fibers can be used to create high performance sensors because of several advantages that optical systems can provide over electronics. For example, the precision of optical interferometry in measuring sub-nanometer displacements allows for measurements of very small physical changes, while immunity to electromagnetic interference and very low signal attenuation allows for high fidelity transmission of analog signals over long distances in challenging environments. MagiQ Technologies develops different types of optical sensors; in this talk, I will focus on a highly rugged, remotely interrogated seismic sensor. Such a device can provide accurate knowledge of geophysical processes in harsh environments where electronic sensors quickly fail or require frequent maintenance, such as oil and gas reservoirs or geothermal power systems. In addition, large numbers of sensors can be connected via fiber optic cables in very long arrays without active elements, where a conventional electronic approach requires costly amplifiers, digitizers, and data handling hardware distributed throughout the array. Although general operating principles and potential sensor performance are relatively well established, there are many challenges to design and produce a sensor system in a cost-effective, reliable, and scalable way.