Optical Fibre Sensing for Offshore Renewable Energy
Distributed optical fibre sensing is a topic of great industrial relevance. Exploiting different forms backscatter from optical fibre to measure the local environment at any position in the fibre has enabled the development of perimeter sensing, cable monitoring, oil and gas pipeline/ well monitoring and smart structures. Fraunhofer CAP have had recent projects on combining distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) with distributed temperature sensing (DTS) to create a multifunctional sensor system. Working with EMEC, Fraunhofer CAP have been able to demonstrate these techniques in marine power cables to detect power cable strumming on a live dynamic umbilical for the first time. There is much to be done in the optimisation of the data acquisition and analysis. There is a need to find the limits of the DAS/DTS systems – can we turn installed power cables into distributed microphones? How accurately can we determine cable burial depth using DTS combined with DAS? We also want to consider other methods such as Brillouin scattering to measure strain and temperature. Modelling and experimental activity would be involved in this industrial research project. Active involvement in collaborative projects will be expected and we will aim to trial sensor systems on installed offshore cabling. There will also be the opportunity to explore other types of fibre sensors such as fibre Bragg gratings and long period gratings.
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