Compact Optical Fiber for Extreme Environments

Physical Sciences Inc has been awarded a research program from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to develop a Compact Optical Fiber for Extreme Environments (COFFEE) sensor to measure fast, transient magnetic fields generated in military system components due to nuclear weapons effects (NWE) such as Internal Electromagnetic Pulse (IEMP) and System Generated EMP (SGEMP).

Knowledge of these magnetic fields is important to validate models of a particular component’s response to NWE. Presently, these fields are measured with small induction coils that are limited by electromagnetic interference susceptibility, finite size constraints, and proximity within a test object. PSI’s COFFEE system will provide a low profile sensor that measures magnetic fields based on the Faraday effect in a small section of doped glass fiber. The system will be capable of capturing the transient effects on the relevant nanosecond timescales while the optical based sensing element will be more robust to EMI and X-ray radiation than traditional induction coils.

PSI’s COFFEE sensor will provide an optical measurement of a projection of the magnetic field. In addition to having a high bandwidth to measure fast rise times, the sensor will be specifically designed to work in an irradiated environment such as inside X-rays sources used for medical applications or equipment testing where other magnetometers might be inapplicable or tend to break down.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Joel Hensley
Vice President, Photonics
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003