Skip to main content

Behavior of the Fused Quartz Suspended Core Acoustic Waveguide Sensor in Gamma Radiation...

Publication Type
Journal Name
IEEE Sensors Journal
Publication Date
Page Numbers
10522 to 10529

Previously, a fused-quartz acoustic waveguide named the suspended core waveguide with tight-field confinement in a small diameter was developed and its sensing potential in harsh environment was demonstrated with the fabricated periodic acoustic fiber Bragg grating. In this paper, the acoustic sensor was exposed to around 70 Gy/h gamma radiation at room temperature for 3550 h at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. For comparisons, a thermocouple and two optical fiber Bragg gratings were tested under the same conditions. The central frequency reading of the acoustic sensor was found to encounter a relatively fast decrease of 0.5 kHz in the first 800 hours. The reading then became stable, centering at 478.5 kHz with a fluctuation of ±0.2 kHz, and responded to small environmental temperature variations less than 1.2 °C. The major effect to the fluctuation was concluded to be radiation-induced material compaction and expansion. For optical fiber Bragg gratings, the same one-directional fast change of readings in the first 500 hours were observed as well. Although the optical gratings were able to track temperature changes, they also showed continuous drifts. The survivability and consistency of the acoustic sensor under long-term gamma radiation could lead to new sensing methods in nuclear applications.