Original Date: 04/24/2007
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Fiber Optic Technology
The University of New Orleans, College of Engineering developed a strong and cooperative partnership with the private sector whose function was to demonstrate, refine, prototype, and implement fiber optic components and systems in Navy ships and other government and industry operations.
Most application of fiber optics research supported by the University of New Orleans, College of Engineering (UNO COE) is handled by a small business contractor. Funds awarded through small business technology transfer research and small business innovation research programs have been instrumental in starting the process of transferring sensing and illumination technology to the Navy.
The UNO COE and the contractor demonstrated capabilities in packaging a variety of complex sensing components and illumination systems for prototype application on Navy ships. Extensive work in temperature, flame, and level- sensing devices were designed into damage control prototype systems installed on the USS Ross DDG-71. This installation demonstrated its effectiveness and value over competitive devices and systems. The UNO COE developed a fiber optics based torque and thrust measurement device for propulsion monitoring. UNO COE also sponsored Bragg temperature sensor development whereby the physics of a single fiber demonstrated the capacity to detect stresses and translate these into a simple and inexpensive temperature detector. Application possibilities are present in sensing and monitoring critical processing parameters required for high- quality composite material fabrication. The UNO COE continues to sponsor remote-source lighting development as an alternate lighting source for ships and commercial use. Remote-source lighting uses high-energy fiber bundles to illuminate areas where electrical lighting systems pose a safety threat and require cool lighting and color sequencing. The UNO COE also developed machine vision systems based on unique fiber optic bundle technology that was employed in experimental robotic welding systems.
Fiber optic sensing and illumination technology go beyond Navy ships. Homeland Security can benefit through optical spectroscopy of chemical and biological dangers. Condition-based maintenance of enterprise operations can be greatly improved through employment of fiber optic sensor and systems technology. Commercial manufacturers can also benefit from this research.
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