How Are Fiber Optic Sensors Used in the Aerospace Industry?

Fiber optic technology has been revolutionizing countless markets and applications, providing faster and more efficient ways for data and power to be transferred between devices and systems. Within the aviation and aerospace industry, fiber optic sensors have been seeing a major increase in popularity, due to the fact that sensors allow for data to be measured, monitored, and analyzed for proper flight planning, operation, and hazard prevention. Serving many applications, sensors provide pilots with readings on an aircraft’s structural integrity, the amount of fuel left in a tank, and the most efficient routes to save fuel. With the extreme reliability, ample performance, and environmental protection capabilities of fiber optic sensors, they serve as a very beneficial option for aerospace sensing applications.

There are many advantages to using fiber optic sensors in lieu of conventional options, those of which include their high durability, lightweight construction, and small packaging. As a result, they can replace weightier monitoring systems to increase the fuel-efficiency of the aircraft to a degree, all while guaranteeing high sensitivity and long-range application. Additionally, fiber optic sensors are fairly easy to maintain and are versatile in their use, meaning that they can be implemented for numerous monitoring needs.

From a single interface, fiber optic sensors are able to conduct measurements related to pressure, temperature, deformation, and strain. Beyond such applications, they are also relied on for the monitoring of landing gear, rotors, engine blades, and other assemblies to calculate the amount of strain they face through operations. In recent years, engineers have been attempting to further expand upon the use of fiber optic sensors, such as having them provide real-time measurements of weight distribution. With such measurements, personnel can track the structural integrity and performance of assemblies like the fuselage and wings, while also analyzing landing gear loads and wing ice deposits. Moving into the future, engineers seek to increase the overall safety of aircraft through further implementation of fiber optic sensors and correlating technology.

As stated before, the advantages of fiber optic sensors include their ability to reduce the weight of monitoring systems while saving operators money. Beyond this, they can also procure measurements that conventional sensors are unable to provide. As a last major benefit, the installation process for fiber optic sensors is quite easy, allowing an assembly to be established in a fraction of the time in comparison to competing alternatives. This is often a result of the fact that multiple sensors can be integrated within a single fiber, reducing the amount of components present on the aircraft.

With the clear advantages that fiber optic sensors bring to the table, it is important that operators have them regularly inspected and maintained to ensure their integrity and reliability. Despite their increased protection against environmental stressors, fiber optic sensors will face normal degradation over time; thus, they eventually necessitate replacement. When it comes time to procure the various fiber optic sensors and components that you need for establishing or maintaining monitoring sensors, look no further than Paragon Purchasing.

Paragon Purchasing is a premier supplier of aviation, NSN, and electronic parts that have been sourced from leading global manufacturers that we trust. With our marketing expertise and purchasing power, we always save our customers time and money while fulfilling their operational requirements with ease. As a result of our various quality assurance measures and export compliance practices that we uphold, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation. If you are ready to experience the future of part procurement, fill out and submit an RFQ form for your parts of interest, and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you within 15 minutes or less to continue the process!


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