Sapphire optical fiber sensors
Fiber optic sensors offer many advantages over conventional sensors, including; small size, low weight, high strength and durability. Standard silica optical fibers are limited by the material properties of silica. Temperatures above 700°C and other harsh environments are incompatible with standard optical fiber sensors. Sapphire fiber sensors offer another option for fiber optic sensing. Sapphire fibers are limited by the material properties of sapphire, which include high melting point, extreme hardness and imperviousness to chemical reactions and radiation. These properties coupled with the advantages of conventional fiber optic sensing make sapphire optical fiber sensors a good candidate for sensing requirements in harsh environments. We investigate the potential for the use of sapphire fibers as sensors. Two sensors are developed based on widely different techniques. Results from preliminary tests of each are given.