Fiber optic sensor A fiber optic sensor is a sensor that uses optical fiber either as the sensing element ("intrinsic sensors"), or as a means of relaying signals from a remote sensor to the electronics that process the signals ("extrinsic sensors"). Fibers have many uses in remote sensing. Depending on the application, fiber may be used because of its small size, or the fact that no electrical power is needed at the remote location, or because many sensors can be multiplexed along the length of a fiber by using different wavelengths of light for each sensor, or by sensing the time delay as light passes along the fiber through each sensor. Time delay can be determined using a device such as an optical time-domain reflectometer.
How does a fiber optic sensor work?
A fiber optic cable consists of a core, wrapped in cladding, wrapped in buffer coating. Being composed of long, thin strands of pure glass, they function by transmitting light signals over long distances. Fiber optics are lines of pure glass, thin as human hair. They are used to transmit light, similar to a long twisting corridor, with mirrors at each angle to continue reflecting the light along the entire length. The light is the data, such as cable tv, or telephone signals.