The emergence of fiber optics sensors in recent years has seen a number of applications embrace this novel way of characterizing the environment in harsh conditions. Engineers have however been confronted with severe processing-speed limitations that prevented the technology from becoming mainstream. After years of research, the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center developed an elegant, now patent-pending, solution that increases processing speed 15 to 20 fold. NASA subsequently selected 4DSP, which specializes in high-speed and parallel reconfigurable solutions, to develop a turnkey state-of-the-art acquisition and processing platform for its own use that incorporates the enabling technology. 4DSP has licensed the technology and now offers a proven fiber optic sensing system in a form factor that allows rapid deployment for a host of applications across multiple fields.
“The licensing of this NASA invention to 4DSP represents a major breakthrough and opens the door to widespread application of this remarkable sensing technology to a wide-variety of commercial sectors. The applications of the technology are limitless and have the potential to revolutionize structural design, testing, in-situ structural health monitoring, aeroelastic feedback control, and end-of-life cycle decision making, as well as many others yet to be discovered,” says W Lance Richards, PhD, Aerospace Research Manager, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.
No sensing solution currently available in the market place can remotely offer the same performance/cost ratio as the 4DSP solution that uses the NASA technology. With the capability to monitor 10s of thousands of sensors real time up to 100 times per second it has the potential to overcome many limitations associated with fiber optic sensor systems. In addition to all the usual advantages of fiber optic sensing, such as reduced sensor size and weight, better immunization to environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, electromagnetic radiation and corrosion, this technology provides an enormous number of high density sensors at higher sample rates, yielding a dramatically lower price per sensor for real-time monitoring applications. The RTS150 solution is available off-the-shelf, more details can be found online.
Originally developed for aircraft monitoring, this innovation also has applications in automotive, wind energy, and structural health monitoring as well as in medicine. By taking this technology to an unprecedented level, a new host of applications, bringing a wide range of benefits, can be considered. Technology adoption in the market place often relies on a complex mix of performance, flexibility and simplicity. The NASA technology’s demonstrated performance and flexibility provides 4DSP with the ability to bridge the gap between idea and reality. Simplicity of applying and using this technology will drive its adoption and result in a new era of sensing.
Pierrick Vulliez, Director of Marketing & Business Development
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About 4DSP, LLC
4DSP (4dsp.com) is an innovative company specializing in low power, low weight and compact FPGA based signal and image processing systems. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in the Netherlands, 4DSP is a developer of reconfigurable computers of advanced architecture which offer customers maximum flexibility and scalability. 4DSP's hardware platforms deliver unmatched performance for advanced digital signal processing (DSP) applications for embedded computing systems.