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2013 R&D 100 Winner
Fiber Optic Sensing SystemIn 2003, the Helios solar electric airplane broke up in mid-air and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The incident highlighted a problem: Operators of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had no way of knowing when the wings were experiencing unsustainable strain. Scientists at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center and 4DSP LLC, a company specializing in signal- and image-processing systems, co-developed a lightweight, robust Fiber Optic Sensing System (FOSS) that greatly speeds the operational monitoring and sensing. Driven by efficient algorithms, FOSS can determine a variety of critical parameters, including strain, shape, temperature, liquid level, pressure, strength and operational loads in real time. Processing rates up to 100 times/sec represent a 20-fold improvement over existing technologies; and each 40-ft fiber offers up to 2,000 data points with adjustable spatial resolution. FOSS allows real-time strain measurements and has applications outside aerospace.

Technology
Fiber optic sensing system

Developers
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
4DSP


Development Team

NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Fiber Optic Sensing System development team (l-r): Lance Richards, Allen Parker, Patrick Chan, Anthony Piazza.

 










William Ko, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Julie Holland, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Pierrick Vulliez, 4DSP LLC

 







The Fiber Optic Sensing System (FOSS) Development Team
Allen Parker, Principal Developer, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
Lance Richards, Principal Developer, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
Patrick Chan, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
William Ko, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
Anthony Piazza, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
Pierrick Vulliez, 4DSP

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