IOS researchers have developed cutting-edge technologies, including fiber optic sensors for pressure, temperature, electromagnetic fields, and a wide variety of chemicals; acoustic emission sensors; advanced signal and image processing systems; specialty light sources; non-lethal weapons; and non-destructive laser ultrasonic inspection systems.
IOS has developed fiber Bragg grating (FBG)-based strain sensors for several applications, primarily for structural health monitoring. These applications include detection of vibration in aircraft/spacecraft structures and acoustic emission from crack formation and propagation, and measuring structural static strain in unmanned aerial vehicles such as the Global Hawk and unmanned ground vehicles such as the Mars Rover. Stand-alone detection systems were developed for these applications. Fiber strain measurement by means of Brillouin scattering and FBGs was developed for missiles guided through optical fiber. IOS has also developed a novel diagnostic/prognostic ultrasound imaging system for determining the location and degree of structural damage in composite aircraft materials.
Recognizing the demand and potential for hydrogen sensing, IOS also develops sensors and instrumentation for hydrogen gas detection in the automotive, aerospace, and power generation industries.
Finally, the Optech line of laser ultrasonic inspection systems have several demonstrated aerospace applications, including in-line monitoring of friction-stir welds used for assembly of rocket fuel tanks, and high-precision inspection of carbon fiber composite materials and structures in aircraft.