Detection of hydrocarbon fuel spills using a distributed fibre optic sensor

Alistair MacLean, C. Moran, W. Johnstone, B. Culshaw, D. Marsh, P. Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A fibre optic sensor capable of the distributed detection of multiple hydrocarbon fuel and solvent spills is described. The sensor incorporates liquid-swelling polymers that convert the swelling into a microbend force on an optical fibre when activated. Sensor interrogation is conducted using a standard optical time domain reflectometry (OTDR) technique. This provides the potential of locating target hydrocarbon fuel and solvent spills at many separate positions along the sensor length. Typical sensor response time after exposure to the fuel is 30s using the current design. Sensors that are capable of locating 1m long spill events with a location accuracy of 2.5m over a range of 2km are reported. A brief description of the underlying technology and the material evaluation tests are presented followed by initial sensor evaluation results. Laboratory and experimental field trials demonstrating repeatability and the simultaneous location of multiple fuel spills are summarised. Automatic detection of events using a custom-built OTDR instrument is briefly discussed and finally the potential applications for this type of sensor technology are outlined.
LanguageEnglish
Pages60-67
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators A: Physical
Volume109
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Fingerprint

hydrocarbon fuels
Fiber optic sensors
Hazardous materials spills
Hydrocarbons
fiber optics
sensors
Sensors
Swelling
swelling
evaluation
interrogation
Optical fibers
Polymers
optical fibers
Liquids
polymers

Keywords

  • hydrocarbon fuel
  • fibre optic sensor
  • OTDR
  • distributed optical sensing
  • liquid hydrocarbon detection
  • fuel leak detection

Cite this

MacLean, Alistair ; Moran, C. ; Johnstone, W. ; Culshaw, B. ; Marsh, D. ; Parker, P. / Detection of hydrocarbon fuel spills using a distributed fibre optic sensor. In: Sensors and Actuators A: Physical. 2001 ; Vol. 109, No. 1. pp. 60-67.
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Detection of hydrocarbon fuel spills using a distributed fibre optic sensor. / MacLean, Alistair; Moran, C.; Johnstone, W.; Culshaw, B.; Marsh, D.; Parker, P.

In: Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol. 109, No. 1, 2001, p. 60-67.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Detection of hydrocarbon fuel spills using a distributed fibre optic sensor

AU - MacLean, Alistair

AU - Moran, C.

AU - Johnstone, W.

AU - Culshaw, B.

AU - Marsh, D.

AU - Parker, P.

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AB - A fibre optic sensor capable of the distributed detection of multiple hydrocarbon fuel and solvent spills is described. The sensor incorporates liquid-swelling polymers that convert the swelling into a microbend force on an optical fibre when activated. Sensor interrogation is conducted using a standard optical time domain reflectometry (OTDR) technique. This provides the potential of locating target hydrocarbon fuel and solvent spills at many separate positions along the sensor length. Typical sensor response time after exposure to the fuel is 30s using the current design. Sensors that are capable of locating 1m long spill events with a location accuracy of 2.5m over a range of 2km are reported. A brief description of the underlying technology and the material evaluation tests are presented followed by initial sensor evaluation results. Laboratory and experimental field trials demonstrating repeatability and the simultaneous location of multiple fuel spills are summarised. Automatic detection of events using a custom-built OTDR instrument is briefly discussed and finally the potential applications for this type of sensor technology are outlined.

KW - hydrocarbon fuel

KW - fibre optic sensor

KW - OTDR

KW - distributed optical sensing

KW - liquid hydrocarbon detection

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