Patent Number: 7,356,209

Title: Method and apparatus for optically powering and multiplexing distributed fiber optic sensors

Abstract: An optical power converting apparatus is provided that may be used with remote sensors. A plurality of remote sensors may be coupled to a backbone optical fiber with each sensor having an optical power converter that receives an optical signal from a head end of that fiber. The optical power converters may store electrical energy derived from that optical signal and use that energy to power the remote sensors. The head end's optical signal may also include a clock signal, and each remote sensor may be set to sense a measurable parameter after a given number of clock cycles have been counted. In a further example, each of the optical sensors may be synchronized before counting these clock signals via a synchronization signal from the optical power converter. The remote sensors may individually and separately uplink their sensed data to the head end on the optical fiber. The apparatus may be implemented in a vehicle health management system, for example.

Inventors: Delcher; Ray C. (Oxnard, CA), Khoshnevisan; Mohsen (Newbury Park, CA), Christian; William R. (Newbury Park, CA)

Assignee: Boeing Company

International Classification: G02B 6/00 (20060101); G01J 1/44 (20060101); H04J 14/08 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2020-04-08 0:00:00