High Temperature Light Guide
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) have created a high-temperature optical fiber assembly for sensing applications within harsh or high-temperature environments. These pressure-sealing and chemically resistant light guides have been made using both quartz and borosilicate glass. The fiber assemblies can be made to a specified length with varying bundle sizes up to 0.040 inches in diameter. Over 100 of these assemblies have been reliably produced for government projects. APL is currently seeking companies interested in licensing the technology for commercial applications.
The light guides are made by bonding bundles of fine optical fibers together with high-temperature epoxy through a proprietary manufacturing process. The polished distal tip is housed within a pressure-sealing high-temperature connector that attaches to the user's threaded bulkhead with a jam nut; a shoulder provides a stop to accommodate bulkheads of varying thickness. The proximal end is fitted with a standard SMA connector (or other type) that attaches to a remote detector or spectrometer.
JHU/APL has used the high-temperature light guides for measuring the optical output from high-energy explosions and for ignition and combustion monitoring within a pressurized supersonic combustor. The light guides are uniquely suitable for use in harsh chemical or high-temperature environments for use with imagers or detectors. They may also provide diagnostic instrumentation for ignition, combustion, and other manufacturing processes. Additional applications include process monitoring in the iron-ore, steel, and aluminum processing industries, monitoring of nuclear processes, engine and turbo-machinery diagnostics, and fire detection. The high-temperature light guides can also enable the development of other types of optical sensors in harsh or high-temperature environments where conventional instrumentation cannot operate.
Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 7156559; 7435010 issued.CONTACT: