Novel Fiber Optic Methods for Sensing Shape, Orientation and/or Heading of Undersea Arrays and Tethers

Period of Performance: 06/23/2008 - 04/24/2009


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

3 Phoenix, Inc.
14585 Avion Pwy Suite 200
Chantilly, VA 20151
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, #0411
La Jolla, CA 92093
Institution POC


Structural state awareness can be vitally important to a wide variety of both commercial and military systems, including buildings, bridges, vehicles and advanced sensors. Equipment required to provide this telemetry has typically been large and heavy making it difficult to incorporate into the desired environment. The use of a strain and temperature sensing technique based in fiber optics can provide significant benefits for such systems including low cost and non-intrusive sensor elements. Coupled with an accurate and robust shape reconstruction algorithm, a fiber sensing system can provide the required health monitoring necessary for enhanced safety and performance of these structures. In this Phase I effort, the team of 3 Phoenix, Inc. (3Pi) and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) propose to examine alternative interrogator architectures that simultaneously provide high reliability and rapid data acquisition; adapt, refine and evaluate a real-time shape estimation and reconstruction algorithm that takes discrete strain measurements as input; and present a comprehensive design for a fiber sensing system to remotely measure the position and orientation of tethered payloads as well as the tether structure itself.