Sensor Network based on Fibre Optics and Smart Electronic Sensor Nodes for Intelligent Sensorial Materials

Christoph Budelmann (Hrsg.)

Smart Systems Integration - European Conference and Exhibition on Integration Issues of Miniaturized Systems (SSI-2012), March 21-22, Zürich, Switzerland, Mesago, Messe Frankfurt, 2012.


Intelligent products and systems need sensorial materials in order to detect human or environmental interactions and events. Such products and systems offer a lot of new possibilities in technical applications and daily life, for example in the fields of energy savings, health, mobility, safety and security. Nowadays, most sensorial materials are manufactured by a “hybrid integration” (Lang et al. 2011b). This means, that the material and the sensors are both produced separately before the sensors are embedded into the material. Although this is a first step towards sensorial materials, a “local processing of the sensor signals and facilities to derive meaning from them” is also necessary to “base decisions on it” (Lang et al. 2011a). This is one reason why DFKI, with other partners at University of Bremen and German companies, is developing intelligent sensor nodes connected by optical fibers in a large-scale sensor network. Both a high-speed data link and power supply are realized via the optical fibers. Local energy sources for the sensor nodes are not necessary making the sensor network completely maintenance free and ideal for the integration into new materials. This sensor network can be an alternative to Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors which are often used for the integration into composite materials like glass or carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (GFRP, CFRP). Similar to the presented sensor network, FBG sensors are also not affected by electro-magnetic interferences, but they need a central processing unit which cannot be integrated into the material and their use is limited to the measurement of temperature and strain.

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence