SmartFiber develops a smart miniaturized system which integrates optical fiber sensor technology, nano-photonic chip technology and low power wireless technology.
The smart system will enable for the first time fully embedded structural health monitoring of composites used as structural parts in e.g. wind turbine blades, satellites, airplanes, civil constructions, oil and gas wells, boat hulls, propellers.
Due to the innovative approach of integrating micro-technologies, SMARTFIBER will demonstrate a smart system so small that it can be embedded as a whole in the fiber reinforced polymer. As such, the system takes away the main technical roadblock for the industrial uptake of optical fiber sensors as structural health monitoring technology in composite structures: embedding of both fiber sensor and fiber interrogator omits the fragile external fiber coupling to an external interrogator. SMARTFIBER will drive ICT to make truly intelligent composites.
The technologies to be integrated –optical fiber Bragg grating sensors, nano-photonic chip technology and low power wireless technology- have all proven practicability. SMARTFIBER envisages the high risk of integrating the technologies to a system that both complies with the composite manufacturing process and performs well when embedded in a fiber reinforced polymer. The technology will be integrated and demonstrated in a real production environment.
The large industrial involvement in SMARTFIBER is significant. The value chain of the microsystem is fully covered by the partners’ activities. This strategy gives industrial take-up and commercial development of the technology a huge chance.
The smart miniaturized systems will provide the user a continuous record of structural data which will inform decisions on maintenance, thereby obviating the need for expensive, periodic maintenance, as well as warning of potentially catastrophic mechanical failures, increasing safety remarkably.