IEEE Computer Society
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
Centre for Communications Engineering Research
In this work, we present the concept of planar polymer photonic waveguides for the health monitoring of aerospace structures. Here a polymer layer is deposited onto the material/structure to be monitored. Within the polymer layer, waveguides are created after deposition. These waveguides can then be used as 'optical fibres' for optical fibre sensing methodologies. In investigating the use of polymer photonic waveguides the question to be answered is: does the strain in the test material transfer to the polymer layer, such that the value to be measured optically is reliable and indicative of the true strain in the test structure? To answer this question we have conducted a preliminary structural analysis with finite element analysis, utilising ANSYS. A simple aluminium cantilever was used as the test structure, and layers of polyethylene with different thicknesses were added to this. Result show that the thinner the layer of polymer, the more accurate the measured strain will be. For a 100um coating, the difference is strain was observed to be on the order of 3.3%.