Reduced Mode Sapphire Optical Fiber and Sensing System

 

Conversion of Single Crystal Sapphire Fiber to<br/>Mullite via VT SiC masking technique (for creating<br/>features in fiber) [Top], Angled Edge on the End of<br/>a Single Crystal Sapphire Fiber and Fiber Size<br/>Reduction via VT Etching Process [Bottom Left],<br/>Angled Edge on Single Crystal Sapphire Wafer via<br/>VT Etching Process [Bottom Right]
Conversion of Single Crystal Sapphire Fiber to
Mullite via VT SiC masking technique (for creating
features in fiber) [Top], Angled Edge on the End of
a Single Crystal Sapphire Fiber and Fiber Size
Reduction via VT Etching Process [Bottom Left],
Angled Edge on Single Crystal Sapphire Wafer via
VT Etching Process [Bottom Right]
Performer: 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and St. Univ. - OSP
Website:  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Award Number:  FE0012274
Project Duration:  01/01/2014 – 12/31/2018
Total Award Value:  $2,625,000
DOE Share:  $2,100,000
Performer Share:  $525,000
Technology Area:  Plant Optimization Technologies
Key Technology: 
Location:  Blacksburg, Virginia

Project Description

The real-time, accurate and reliable monitoring of temperatures at distributed locations can further revolutionize technologies such as the unique integrated gasification combined cycle configuration of turbines and the ultra-super critical steam cycle designs. The proposed sapphire fiber waveguide design will overcome the harsh environment challenges that severely limit the integration of mature optical fiber sensing technologies in new power plant control systems. A new modal reduction waveguide design will take advantage of the high temperature stability and corrosion resistance of sapphire and result in a paradigm shift in ultra-high temperature sensing. A novel and precise etching technique will significantly reduce (>50%) the mode volume in a robust and truly unique sapphire fiber.

Project Benefits

This project will develop real-time, accurate and reliable monitoring of temperatures at distributed locations of sensors for harsh conditions. The proposed sapphire fiber waveguide design will overcome the harsh environment challenges that severely limit the integration of mature optical fiber sensing technologies in new power plant control systems. Overall, this technology is expected to lower operating costs by allowing more accurate measurement of the conditions inside a gasifier or boiler to better control their operation.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Jessica Mullen: jessica.mullen@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Briggs White: briggs.white@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Gary Pickrell: pickrell@vt.edu
 

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