Real-Time Fiber Optic Strain and Shape Sensing (FOSS) Technology


Researchers at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center have patented a lightweight, fiber optics interrogation algorithm that can be used for real-time wing shape sensing, temperature, and strain measurements. The virtually weightless fiber Bragg grating sensors, along with NASA’s efficient algorithms, provide strain data that enable precise calculations of shape, stress, stiffness (bending and torsion), temperature, pressure, strength, and operational loads in real time. Unlike conventional strain gauges which are heavy, bulky, and spaced at distant intervals, NASA’s fiber optic sensors are small, non-intrusive, easy to install, and provide high-resolution (0.5-inch) strain measurements that are much more precise than ever before. This critical, real-time monitoring capability detects changes during operation without affecting the intrinsic properties of the structure and without the need for structural modifications.

Ron Young, chief of the Innovative Partnerships Office (IPO), will highlight technology innovations developed at NASA Dryden. Dryden develops flight systems, simulations, test planning and conducts flight tests of advanced, highly integrated, complex aeronautic concepts and systems that will revolutionize aviation and pioneer aerospace technology. The center also validates space exploration concepts and conducts airborne remote sensing and science observations. Dryden maintains a highly trained staff for flight operations, research and engineering development to support a range of experimental and tested aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems, airborne science platforms, and test range and aircraft testing facilities.

Ron Young
Chief, Innovative Partnerships Office (IPO)
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

Lance Richards
Structures Research Engineer
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

Allen Parker
Systems Research Engineer
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

Click here to view the webinar.