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Title: Thermal Cycling Testing of Distributed Fiber Optic Temperature Sensors for High-Temperature Applications

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Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy; USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy - Office of Nuclear Reactor Technologies - Advanced Reactor Technologies (ART)
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: 16th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics (NURETH-16), 08/30/15 - 09/04/15, Chicago, IL, US
Country of Publication:
United States
Distributed fiber optic sensor; Rayleigh scattering; coating; stability; temperature sensor

Citation Formats

Lisowski, Darius D., Gerardi, Craig D., and Lomperski, Stephen W. Thermal Cycling Testing of Distributed Fiber Optic Temperature Sensors for High-Temperature Applications. United States: N. p., 2015. Web.
Lisowski, Darius D., Gerardi, Craig D., & Lomperski, Stephen W. Thermal Cycling Testing of Distributed Fiber Optic Temperature Sensors for High-Temperature Applications. United States.
Lisowski, Darius D., Gerardi, Craig D., and Lomperski, Stephen W. 2015. "Thermal Cycling Testing of Distributed Fiber Optic Temperature Sensors for High-Temperature Applications". United States. doi:.
title = {Thermal Cycling Testing of Distributed Fiber Optic Temperature Sensors for High-Temperature Applications},
author = {Lisowski, Darius D. and Gerardi, Craig D. and Lomperski, Stephen W.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 1

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  • This paper will discuss the development of fiber optic sensors for space and terrestrial-based nuclear reactors and other harsh-environment applications. The ability of fiber optic sensors to survive in very high-radiation and high-temperature environments will be presented. These capabilities, coupled with other intrinsic advantages, make fiber optic sensors a promising solution for extremely harsh-environment applications where data integrity is paramount. Luna Innovations is developing a high temperature sensor suite based on novel metal oxide transducers and patented fiber optic sensor technology. This suite includes pressure, temperature, acceleration, and skin friction sensors. High-radiation survivability testing has been conducted on several sensormore » types which showed good survivability up to a fast neutron (>1 MeV) fluence of 2x10{sup 19} cm{sup -2} and 87 GRad, gamma radiation. Luna has demonstrated the operation of ceramic fiber optic pressure sensors at up to 800 deg. C. By applying advanced materials and packaging technologies, designs that will support pressure measurements up to 1400 deg. C have been produced. Fiber optic temperature sensors have been demonstrated up to 1400 deg. C. A ceramic accelerometer has also been demonstrated to operate up to 850 deg. C. A skin friction sensor is in the early stages of development that is expected to reach 870 deg. C. The results of these experiments will be summarized. The high temperature, radiation-hardened sensor suite will provide previously unobtainable measurements in advanced spacecraft propulsion systems, as well as in high-temperature industrial applications, and can be adapted for long-term use in emerging nuclear reactor designs. (authors)« less
  • Fiber optic sensors can be used to measure a number of parameters, including temperature, strain, pressure and flow, for instrumentation and control of space nuclear power systems. In the past, this technology has often been rejected for use in such a high-radiation environment based on early experiments that revealed a number of degradation phenomena, including radiation-induced fiber attenuation, or 'graying', and Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) fading and wavelength shift. However, this paper reports the results of recent experimental testing that demonstrates readability of fiber optic sensors to extremely high levels of neutron and gamma radiation. Both distributed Fiber Bragg Gratingmore » (FBG) sensors and single-point Extrinsic Fabry Perot Interferometer (EFPI) sensors were continuously monitored over a 2-month period, during which they were exposed to combined neutron and gamma radiation in both in-core and ex-core positions within a nuclear reactor. Total exposure reached approximately 2 x 10{sup 19} cm{sup -2} fast neutron (E > 1 MeV) fluence and 8.7 x 10{sup 8} Gy gamma for in-core sensors. FBG sensors were interrogated using a standard Luna Innovations FBG measurement system, which is based on optical frequency-domain reflectometer (OFDR) technology. Approximately 74% of the 19 FBG sensors located at the core centerline in the in-core position exhibited sufficient signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) to remain readable even after receiving the maximum dose. EFPI sensors were spectrally interrogated using a broadband probe source operating in the 830 nm wavelength region. While these single-point sensors failed early in the test, important additional fiber spectral transmission data was collected, which indicates that interrogation of EFPI sensors in alternate wavelength regions may allow significant improvement in sensor longevity for operation in high-radiation environments. This work was funded through a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract with the Nasa Glenn Research Center. (authors)« less
  • A novel, fiber optic, hybrid pressure-temperature sensor is presented. The sensor is designed for reliable operation up to 1050 C, and is based on the high-temperature fiber optic sensors already demonstrated during previous work. The novelty of the sensors presented here lies in the fact that pressure and temperature are measured simultaneously with a single fiber and a single transducer. This hybrid approach will enable highly accurate active temperature compensation and sensor self-diagnostics not possible with other platforms. Hybrid pressure and temperature sensors were calibrated by varying both pressure and temperature. Implementing active temperature compensation resulted in a ten-fold reductionmore » in the temperature-dependence of the pressure measurement. Sensors were also tested for operability in a relatively high neutron radiation environment up to 6.9x10{sup 17} n/cm{sup 2}. In addition to harsh environment survivability, fiber optic sensors offer a number of intrinsic advantages for nuclear power applications including small size, immunity to electromagnetic interference, self diagnostics / prognostics, and smart sensor capability. Deploying fiber optic sensors on future nuclear power plant designs would provide a substantial improvement in system health monitoring and safety instrumentation. Additional development is needed, however, before these advantages can be realized. This paper will highlight recent demonstrations of fiber optic sensors in environments relevant to emerging nuclear power plants. Successes and lessons learned will be highlighted. (authors)« less