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New Optical Sensor Interrogator Unveiled by National Instruments

National Instruments has rolled out the new NI PXIe-4844 optical sensor interrogator that is suitable for applications such as monitoring and testing aircraft components, rail vehicles and marine vessels. The interrogator can also be used for monitoring nuclear reactors, pipelines, wind turbine blades, and other energy related devices.

Fiber Bragg Grating

The NI PXIe-4844 interrogator is a two-slot 3U PXI Express unit that is used for fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors. The FBG sensors are not prone to electromagnetic interference, are electrically passive, and they do not conduct electricity. These sensors transmit light by using a standard optical fiber, enabling measurements to be taken over a maximum of 10 km. Scientists and engineers can utilize the FBG sensors for measuring pressure, temperature, and strain.

The optical sensor interrogator includes four optical channels, which are concurrently measured at 10 Hz. Each channel has a wavelength range of 80 nm that has the ability to scan more than 20 FBG sensors for every channel. The optical core of the interrogator combines Micron Optics’ fiber Fabry-Perot tunable filter technology with the low-noise, high-power swept wavelength laser. The interrogator provides a wavelength stability, repeatability and accuracy of 1 pm. The NI PXIe-4844 interrogator does not need regular external calibration, because every scan is calibrated to a wavelength reference that is NIST-traceable.

The interrogator also features the NI-OSI Explorer utility to offer simplified sensor configuration and automatic detection of sensors. It also includes the NI-OSI driver software with a user-friendly LabVIEW API, for obtaining measurements in physical units.

Source: http://www.ni.com/

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