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Journal of Sensors and Sensor Systems An open-access peer-reviewed journal

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J. Sens. Sens. Syst., 7, 193-206, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/jsss-7-193-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Regular research article
27 Mar 2018
Isolated sensor networks for high-voltage environments using a single polymer optical fiber and LEDs for remote powering as well as data transmission
Jakob Fischer, Timo Schuster, Christian Wächter, Michael Luber, Juri Vinogradov, Olaf Ziemann, and Rainer Engelbrecht Polymer Optical Fiber Application Center, Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm, Nuremberg, 90489, Germany
Abstract. Many applications in high voltage or explosive environments require sensors which are electrically isolated from other components of a system. These sensors need remote powering as well as wireless or isolated data transmission links. A possible solution can be based on optically powered optical sensor links. These typically employ four different photonic components: for the data communication a fast LED as a transmitter and a photo diode as a receiver, furthermore for sensor powering a high-power light source and a photonic power converter. Additionally, two optical fibers are required for optical remote powering and the optical data link. In this paper we demonstrate an optically powered optical sensor link using only low-cost high-brightness LEDs and a single polymer optical fiber (POF) for all of these tasks. Coupling efficiencies, power transmission and modulation bandwidths are analyzed for LEDs with different colors. Potentials for many mW of electrical remote powering and Mbit s−1 sensor data links are demonstrated over 10 m of POF. This approach can be used for almost any electronic sensor with moderate power requirements.
Citation: Fischer, J., Schuster, T., Wächter, C., Luber, M., Vinogradov, J., Ziemann, O., and Engelbrecht, R.: Isolated sensor networks for high-voltage environments using a single polymer optical fiber and LEDs for remote powering as well as data transmission, J. Sens. Sens. Syst., 7, 193-206, https://doi.org/10.5194/jsss-7-193-2018, 2018.

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Many applications in high-voltage environments require electrically isolated sensors. We demonstrate a purely optical sensor link using only low-cost high-brightness LEDs and only one polymer optical fiber (POF) for remote powering of isolated electronic sensor nodes of as well as for data transmission of sensor data to a central unit. No optical couplers or special photo diodes are required, to save costs and reduce size. This enables us to install sensor networks in the field with low effort.
Many applications in high-voltage environments require electrically isolated sensors. We...
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