Accession Number N20120014299
Title Fiber-Optic Sensor for Aircraft Lightning Current Measurement.
Publication Date Sep 2012
Media Count 7p
Personal Author A. G. Mata C. T. Mata G. G. Szatkowski G. P. Snyder J. J. Ely T. X. Nguyen
Abstract An electric current sensor based on Faraday rotation effect in optical fiber was developed for measuring aircraft lightning current. Compared to traditional sensors, the design has many advantages including the ability to measure total current and to conform to structure geometries. The sensor is also small, light weight, non-conducting, safe from interference, and free of hysteresis and saturation. Potential applications include characterization of lightning current waveforms, parameters and paths, and providing environmental data for aircraft certifications. In an optical fiber as the sensing medium, light polarization rotates when exposed to a magnetic field in the direction of light propagation. By forming closed fiber loops around a conductor and applying Ampere s law, measuring the total light rotation yields the enclosed current. A reflective polarimetric scheme is used, where polarization change is measured after the polarized light travels round-trip through the sensing fiber. The sensor system was evaluated measuring rocket-triggered lightning over the 2011 summer. Early results compared very well against a reference current shunt resistor, demonstrating the sensor s accuracy and feasibility in a lightning environment. While later comparisons show gradually increasing amplitude deviations for an undetermined cause, the
Keywords Circuits
Electric current
Faraday effect
Fiber optics
Optical fibers
Polarized light

Source Agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NTIS Subject Category 49 - Electrotechnology
49E - Optoelectronic Devices & Systems
51E - Avionics
Corporate Author National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Hampton, VA. Langley Research Center.
Document Type Conference proceedings
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1307
Contract Number N/A

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