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Title: High Neutron Fluence Survivability Testing of Advanced Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors

The motivation for the reported research was to support NASA space nuclear power initiatives through the development of advanced fiber optic sensors for space-based nuclear power applications. The purpose of the high-neutron fluence testing was to demonstrate the survivability of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors in a fission reactor environment. 520 FBGs were installed in the Ford reactor at the University of Michigan. The reactor was operated for 1012 effective full power hours resulting in a maximum neutron fluence of approximately 5x1019 n/cm2, and a maximum gamma dose of 2x103 MGy gamma. This work is significant in that, to the knowledge of the authors, the exposure levels obtained are approximately 1000 times higher than for any previously published experiment. Four different fiber compositions were evaluated. An 87% survival rate was observed for fiber Bragg gratings located at the fuel centerline. Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry (OFDR), originally developed at the NASA Langley Research Center, can be used to interrogate several thousand low-reflectivity FBG strain and/or temperature sensors along a single optical fiber. A key advantage of the OFDR sensor technology for space nuclear power is the extremely low mass of the sensor, which consists of only a silica fiber 125{mu}m inmore » diameter. The sensors produced using this technology will fill applications in nuclear power for current reactor plants, emerging Generation-IV reactors, and for space nuclear power. The reported research was conducted by Luna Innovations and was funded through a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract with the NASA Glenn Research Center.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Luna Innovations, Inc., 2851 Commerce Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20632873
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 699; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: STAIF 2004: 21. symposium on space nuclear power and propulsion: Human space exploration, space colonization, new frontiers and future concepts, Albuquerque, NM (United States), 8-11 Feb 2004; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.1649627; (c) 2004 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; FISSION; GAMMA RADIATION; GRATINGS; NASA; NEUTRON FLUENCE; NEUTRONS; NUCLEAR FUELS; NUCLEAR POWER; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; OPTICAL FIBERS; REACTOR INSTRUMENTATION; REFLECTIVITY; SILICA; SPACE; SPACE POWER REACTORS; SPACE VEHICLES; TESTING NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems