An Optical Fibre Depth (Pressure) Sensor for Remote Operated Vehicles in Underwater Applications

Sensors (Basel). 2017 Feb 19;17(2):406. doi: 10.3390/s17020406.


A miniature sensor for accurate measurement of pressure (depth) with temperature compensation in the ocean environment is described. The sensor is based on an optical fibre Extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometer (EFPI) combined with a Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG). The EFPI provides pressure measurements while the Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) provides temperature measurements. The sensor is mechanically robust, corrosion-resistant and suitable for use in underwater applications. The combined pressure and temperature sensor system was mounted on-board a mini remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) in order to monitor the pressure changes at various depths. The reflected optical spectrum from the sensor was monitored online and a pressure or temperature change caused a corresponding observable shift in the received optical spectrum. The sensor exhibited excellent stability when measured over a 2 h period underwater and its performance is compared with a commercially available reference sensor also mounted on the ROV. The measurements illustrates that the EFPI/FBG sensor is more accurate for depth measurements (depth of ~0.020 m).

Keywords: Fabry-Perot; Fibre Bragg Gratings; OFPTS; Pressure; ROV; ROV control; sensors.