Non-Invasive Communications with Embedded Sensors in Composites

Period of Performance: 12/12/1995 - 12/30/1997


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Production Products MFG & Sales, Inc.
1285 Dunn Road
St. Louis, MO 63138
Principal Investigator


In Phase II of the Non-Invasive Communication with Embedded Sensors in Composites Program, Production Products will complete the development and qualification of the low cost fiber optic sensor demodulation system and the modular composite utility pole and implement our commercialization plan to bring these new products to market. We will design, fabricate and test a low cost fiber optic grating sensor demodulation system that can be used to interpret embedded fiber optic sensor signals. We will design, fabricate and qualify a 70 foot long modular composite utility pole that will meet the needs of the Utility Industry as well as the DOD, including the Army Corps of Engineers and the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center. This utility pole will be outfitted with cross arms and climbing hooks and will contain fiber optic sensors to measure loads seen in service and to measure transformer performance to predict failure. The poles fabricated in the program will undergo environmental qualification tests as well as field tests by our customers. The low cost fiber optic sensor demodulation system and the modular composite utility poles developed have significant potential to revolutionize both the DOD and commercial market. Benefits: The anticipated benefits of this program include: lowering the cost of fiber optic sensor technology by implementation into large volume civil structures, low cost interpretation techniques for sensors making smart composite structures economically feasible, environmentally safe utility poles, minimizing hazardous waste and utility poles that are easier to handle and install. Both have immediate military and commercial sales potential as well as broad applicability to a wide range of additional aerospace/commercial applications, including application to composite civil structures.