Single-Crystal Sapphire Optical Fiber Sensor Instrumentation


Improved Sensor Packaging
Improved Sensor Packaging
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Website:  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Award Number:  FC26-99FT40685
Project Duration:  10/01/1999 – 12/31/2013
Total Award Value:  $4,074,290
DOE Share:  $3,226,694
Performer Share:  $847,596
Technology Area:  Plant Optimization Technologies
Key Technology:  Sensors and Controls
Location:  Blacksburg, Virginia

Project Description

The Center for Photonics Technology at Virginia Tech has successfully developed a novel temperature sensor capable of operating at temperatures up to 1600 degrees Celsius (°C) and in harsh conditions. The sensor uses single-crystal sapphire to make an optically-based measurement and will fulfill the need for the real-time monitoring of high temperatures created in gasification processes. Based on a successful laboratory demonstration of a optical sapphire based sensor, Virginia Tech's CPT was awarded follow on development work to design construct and test a prototype sensor that could be installed in coal gasifiers. The improved version of the sensor is intended to be more robust, accurate and reliable for extended operation in a coal gasifier and will be evaluated at a full scale gasifier (e.g. Eastman Chemical).

Project Benefits

This project will develop a sapphire-based sensor that records temperature data up to 1,600°C. This temperature sensor can accurately measure gasification environments in extreme conditions. The expected impact of supporting efforts such as this to develop sensors that will monitor the performance of critical components operation in harsh conditions within gasification facilities, is lower operating costs.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Charles E. Miller:
Technology Manager 
Robert Romanosky:
Principal Investigator 
Anbo Wang:

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