Fiber Optic Sensors Design & Application

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Fiber Optic technology is used by DDL OMNI to provide engineering and technical support to the NUWC Towed Array programs. These programs involve research and development of arrays using two types of fiber optic hydrophones: Pressure Insensitive Interferometer and Fabry-Perot Interferometer. DDL OMNI has provided full spectrum support from concept development to at-sea testing on the research vessel Athena.

Specific tasks performed for NUWC in fiber optic technology for towed arrays include—

  • Design, fabrication, and documentation of a receiver/beamformer for the All Optical Towed Array (AOTA) for at-sea acoustic data collection and establishment of the self noise floor.
  • Development of a micro-processor controlled winding machine to control the tension, length, and spacing of fibers and position of reflectors on hydrophone mandrels.
  • Conduct of mechanical vibration test on an AOTA module in the axial vibration test facility at NUWC.
  • Test and calibration of the AOTA array and NUWC sonar processing equipment prior to the acoustic sea trials.
  • Assistance with the selection of mandrel material; design of the mandrel physical dimensions for the desired sensitivity, shading, and pressure/temperature parameters; and selection of fibers of the desired wavelength, outer diameter, coating material, and assembling hydrophones.
  • Development of sea trial agenda and test plan for the AOTA sea trials, installation, and testing of inboard and outboard equipment, as well as providing operational and maintenance services during sea trials.
  • Assistance to NUWC with the data reduction and analysis of sea trial data.