Flexible, Fiber Optic Shape-Sensing Technology

NASA Langley Research Center has demonstrated a patented method and apparatus for determining the position, in three dimensions, of any point on an optical fiber. The multi-core fiber optic cable is highly flexible, and fiber bending is measured and converted to 3D space curves. The shape-sensing fiber can be easily manipulated to form complex curves and knots, and shape algorithms give complex curve solutions in 3D space. Applications could include satellite tethers, surgical catheters, and human figure mapping.