New visual sensors withstand oppressive conditions

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We are so used to being surrounded by sensors that we no longer consider about them.

Whenever we collect adult a mobile phone or get into a car, a network of sensors work together to assistance us. For example, regulating sensors, we have been means to rise many safer vehicles with apart improved fuel economy.

Today, sensors are an indispensable partial of many industrial processes. But there are places where normal sensors have not nonetheless done inroads, due to several difficulties. It is precisely this marketplace that DTU spin-out, CEKO Sensors, is targeting with a new form of sensor.

Measurement regulating light

The sensor is 100 per cent visual and measures regulating light that passes by a specifically designed chip.

The chip contains no steel or electrical components and needs no wiring. Instead, a light is sent light by a skinny potion fibre. This means that a vigilance can be transmitted over prolonged distances though being impaired.

The initial patron has already stepped up. Professor Rune Brincker heads a ‘Structural Integrity and Reliability’ examine organisation during DTU’s Centre for Oil and Gas. One of a group’s examine areas is how to extend a lifetime of offshore drilling rigs. Rune Brincker immediately saw a energy of a new sensors.

New believe about oil rigs

“We purchased a new sensors since we would like to know some-more about a structures we have station in a North Sea. How are they influenced by waves etc. and what stresses are they unprotected to? There are now unequivocally few measuring systems that are in place constantly. So we don’t have adequate data, though that might change now. These sensors paint a new record that resolves some of a problems with some-more normal measuring systems. We have unequivocally high reserve mandate on offshore platforms. We therefore equivocate electrical sensors, that could beget a hint and trigger an explosion. We equivocate this problem if we use CEKO’s sensors. They are also apart some-more durable and arguable longer-term,” says Professor Brincker.

“If we look a future, we consider this is a record that will be used, since it is designed with fewer components. we also pattern a sensors will turn some-more precise, while remaining low cost.”

Fulfilling these expectations is indeed CEKO’s strategy. The company’s dual founders—Kasper Reck-Nielsen and Christian Østergaard—both come from DTU Nanotech, where a record behind a new sensors was grown and patented.

Sensitive chip

“We have total existent technologies in a sensors, such as twine optics and chip technology. We combined a turn to these that allows us to grasp aloft sensitivity, while gripping a cost down,” explains Christian Østergaard.

The sensor utilizes a element formed on a nanostructure called Bragg Grating. It involves permitting white light to pass little structures that simulate a light in several colours (wavelength intervals). Rather than measuring a energy or apportion of light that comes by a fibre, we magnitude changes in a colour of a reflected light.

The vast advantage of this is that we can place mixed sensors on a twine and emanate a sensor network, since any sensor reflects a sold wavelength interval, while a rest of a light passes through. A change in quivering will so be detectable as a change in a colour of a reflected light.

Light slowed down

“Fibre Bragg Grating record has been around for many years. The new and engaging thing about a sensors is that we have found a process to restrict light as it passes by a chip. So it is a speed of light that is changed, and not a stretch between a little structures. This indeed creates a sensor 1,000 times some-more supportive than existent visual sensors. The outcome is a supportive sensor that is also so strong that it can be commissioned in unequivocally unprotected locations in oppressive environments. This multiple opens a doorway to new markets where sensors have not nonetheless done inroads,” explains Kasper Reck-Nielsen.

Key information for breeze industry

Yet it is not a oil and gas attention that a association has set a sights on as a primary marketplace for a new sensors. It is a breeze industry.
Imagine what profitable information we could reap if we put sensors on a blades of a vast offshore turbines, that send real-time information behind to seaside while a turbine is generating electricity.

“Changes in a blades’ quivering patterns can exhibit tiny irregularities on a blades, and yield warning that it is time for a use revisit before this has a critical impact on operation. The sensors could also be used to advise about ice formation, etc. In general, by ceaselessly monitoring operation, it will be probable to significantly optimize energy generation,” explains Kasper Reck-Nielsen.

To date, people have not even deliberate putting sensors on a blades, since an electrical sensor would attract lightning, with a risk of deleterious a blade or a whole turbine. These sensors—with no steel or electrical components—open adult a whole new world.

CEKO is now operative with DTU Wind Energy and several of a world’s largest breeze turbine manufacturers to lift out long-term contrast of a sensors on breeze turbines.

According to Kasper Reck-Nielsen, a aim is that in 5 years’ time, a handful of a sensors will be commissioned on one in 3 new breeze turbines. This would meant prolongation of around 1,000 sensors per month, only for a breeze turbine industry.

Pressure dimensions in oil wells

There are other focus areas that CEKO skeleton to investigate. Aeroplane wings is another apparent place a sensors could be used. But a record also permits other forms of sensors than quivering sensors (accelerometers) and hence a far-reaching operation of applications.

“We are now contrast a sensor that measures vigour in oil wells. In this case, a sensor has to magnitude apart underground, during temperatures of several hundred degrees and underneath impassioned pressure. It also has to hoop being cleared in hydrochloric acid,” explains Kasper Reck- Nielsen.

The exam is looking promising, so Kasper Reck-Nielsen and Christian Østergaard see a splendid destiny for CEKO, and Professor Rune Brincker agrees:

“If we need to make something unequivocally robust, we contingency make it unequivocally simple. CEKOs sensor has a elementary pattern and is formed on a record with a outrageous potential. we pattern it will be means to contest with a pointing of normal sensors within a not too apart future.”

Source: DTU