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100-Hz Refresh Rate for Fiber Bragg Grating Interrogation System
September 9, 2011

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Researchers at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center have developed an ultra-efficient method for reducing the refresh rate of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensor interrogation. The algorithm calculates strain along the length of a sensing fiber at half-inch intervals at rates of 100 times per second, enabling real-time monitoring. Other operational parameters can then be derived, such as shape, stress, stiffness (bending and torsion), temperature, pressure, strength, and operational loads. Originally developed for shape sensing of aircraft wings, this method has applications in civil engineering, oil and gas, transportation, medical instrumentation, renewable wind energy, and more.


  • Fast: Provides a 100-Hz refresh rate to enable real-time strain monitoring
  • Comprehensive data: Calculates shape, stress, stiffness (bending and torsion), temperature, pressure, strength, and operational loads


  • Aerospace: Sensing shape and structural health monitoring
  • Medical: Monitoring medical robotics, catheters, MRI machines, and radioactive environments
  • Renewable wind energy: Monitoring wind turbine blade deformation
  • Civil structures: Designing and monitoring bridges, tunnels, buildings, and dams
  • Automotive: Monitoring frame stress for improved safety and performance
  • Transportation and Rail: Monitoring integrity of train and tracks
  • Marine: Monitoring oil tankers, navy vessels, competitive yachts, and submarine hulls
  • Oil and Gas: Detecting leaks, monitoring pipelines and downhole drilling
  • Power: Monitoring nuclear power plant vibration and temperature
  • Seismology: Monitoring shifts in the earth's crust
  • Mining: Monitoring integrity of shafts
  • Military: Detecting chemical or biological agents


NASA has filed for patent protection for the Armstrong technology.

Commercial Opportunity

This technology is part of NASA's technology transfer program. The program seeks to stimulate broad commercial use/application of NASA-developed technologies. NASA is flexible in its agreements, and opportunities exist for licensing and joint development. Armstrong is interested in a partnership to commercialize this technology.

Contact Information

If you would like more information about this technology or about NASA's technology transfer program, please contact:

Technology Transfer Office
NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center
PO Box 273, M/S 1100
Edwards, CA 93523-0273
Phone: (661) 276-3368
E-mail: DFRC-TTO@mail.nasa.gov

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Page Editor: NASA Administrator