IndyCar 500

Pratt and Miller Racing IndyCar



Epsilon Optics Following the successful lab and track testing of the fibre-optic sensing system installed on the Corvette C7R race car, our work with Pratt & Miller has now moved on to the next phase. This involves detailed monitoring of both front and rear suspension components on an IndyCar Working closely with the P&M design team, Epsilon Optics conducted a further round of FEA analysis to optimise sensor location and orientation. As before, a large number of sensors were embedded in composite carriers for surface bonding to the suspension components whilst improving the ruggedness of sensors and cabling and minimising disruption to the aerodynamics. The testing is now underway which will include both track and wind tunnel tests..


Hanshin Expressway Bridge Section Monitoring Project



Epsilon Optics have delivered ruggedised sensors and a high speed switched interrogator to monitor one of the many bridges along the Hanshin Expressway. Multiple arrays have been adhered to both steel and concrete sections of the bridge providing detailed strain and vibration data for each of the spans being monitored. The scope of work included the provision of six ruggedised arrays that could be installed by non-technical personnel in a construction site environment. This was achieved by the use of steel wire armoured cabling with a total length in excess of 1 km and more than 100 composite sensor patches. The six arrays were each connected to an EA 3080-H-E 8 Channel High Speed FSI located at a central instrument cabinet. Tobishima our civil engineering partner in Japan, has provided the customer interface and remote data management for the system.

Embedded Sensor

 Sensor Veil Array



Embedding optical fibre sensors directly into a composite structure during manufacture is a very elegant engineering solution: the sensors are well protected in the composite matrix, they add minimal weight and have been shown to have no measurable effect on the structural properties. In effect it is rather like providing the structure with its own embedded nervous system. However, despite all these advantages, there are some significant challenges associated with the successful embedment of optical sensors. These can result in high optical losses, fibre breakage and inaccurate placement of the sensors. For this reason, it usually requires the specialist skills of a technician with extensive experience in handling optical fibre.

In order to avoid both the technical problems and also to avoid the need for a fibre optics specialist to install the sensors, Epsilon Optics has developed the Sensor Veil which comprises a dry (un-impregnated) veil cloth in e-glass or carbon fibre, with a fibre optic sensor array fixed to it. The optical fibre layout and sensors are all precisely located and the optical fibres brought out via a suitable cable which can be pre-connectorised. Whilst not being as robust as a surface-bonded sensor patch, the Sensor Veil is resilient enough to be installed with confidence by a suitably trained laminator. In this way the entire array which may include many sensors can be accurately positioned in the laminate stack.

The Sensor Veil concept is suitable for pre-preg, wet lay-up, vacuum infusion, resin transfer moulding and similar processes. Where closed moulds are being used there will need to be provision made for the cable exit. Where a vacuum bag is used the Sensor Veil can be combined with one of our surface mounted connector housings located on the final laminates under the vacuum bag.

Design and implementation of complete fibre optic sensing solutions