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Appl Opt. 2003 Feb 20;42(6):1003-7.

Interferometric fiber-optic sensor embedded in a spark plug for in-cylinder pressure measurement in engines.

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Department of Electrical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA.


Pressure sensing in an internal combustion engine with an intrinsic fiber Fabry-Perot interferometer (FFPI) integrated with a spark plug is demonstrated for the first time. The spark plug was used for the ignition of the cylinder in which it was mounted. The FFPI element, protected with a copper/gold coating, was embedded in a groove in the spark-plug housing. Gas pressure inthe engine induced longitudinal strain in this housing, which was also experienced by the fiber-optic sensing element. The sensor was monitored with a signal conditioning unit containing a chirped distributed-feedback laser. Pressure sensitivities as high as 0.00339 radians round-trip phase shift per pounds per square inch of pressure were observed. Measured pressure versus time traces showed good agreement with those from a piezoelectric reference sensor mounted in the same engine cylinder.

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