Miniaturised dedicated application opto-electronic sensors in the evolution of smart systems
Kahn, Mohammed Tariq Ekeramodien
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In the last decade, the South Amcan Electricity Supply Commission would have had their ability to serve an ever demanding public severely tested. With the dilemma of providing electricity supply through hazardous environmental conditions, and with prospects of supplying power even beyond South Afiican borders, the need for a comprehensive damage and power delivery assessment strategy becomes all the more relevant. The rapid growth being made in the evolution of so called "intelligent" structures, with inherent sensor, actuator and control mechanisms built in can have direct influence on a power distribution network. At least in the foreseeable future, the impact ofphotonic sensors with inherent miniaturization, a foremost candidate in Smart System technology, can play a vital role in damage assessment of a potentially large network such as that found in the supply ofelectricity. Smart systems are nonliving systems that integrate the functions of sensing, actuation, logic and control, to respond adaptively to changes in their condition or environment to which they are exposed, in a useful and usually repetitive manner. Sensors are a fundamental part of the evolution of such systems and form the basis for the topic of this dissertation. The use ofoptical fiber sensors is increasing widely mainly due to their (a) miniature size, (b) remote signal processing ability, and (c) multiplexing capabilities. Because of the above features a variety of optical fiber sensing techniques has evolved over the years having potential for a myriad of applications. In this work a systems model and equations was developed for modeling the propagation of light in a optical waveguide, in order to study a Fabry Perrot sensor topology for application as a miniaturised sensor in a new type of smart structure, namely a smart electrical power system.