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Upgraded fiber-optic sensor system for dynamic strain measurement in Spallation Neutron Source...

by Yun Liu, Drew E Winder, Bing Qi, Cary D Long, Wei Lu
Publication Type
Journal Name
IEEE Sensors Journal
Publication Date
Page Numbers
26772 to 26784

We describe an upgraded fiber-optic sensor system and its performance in measuring the dynamic strains in a mercury target of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). Strains result from dynamic pressure waves in the stainless-steel mercury target induced by short (~700 ns), intense (up to 23.3 kJ), high-energy (~1 GeV) proton pulses. In the upgraded sensor system, the output of each sensor head is interrogated with a compact, all-fiber based Faraday Michelson interferometer, which generates interference signals with a steady phase shift. Strain waveforms are recovered from the phase-shifted interference signals using a high-speed digital signal processing procedure developed in our previous work. We demonstrate successful measurements of dynamic strain pulses, e.g., 400με over 190μs , on a recently installed SNS target using the upgraded sensor system. The measured strain waveforms are analyzed for more than 20 sensor locations and/or orientations, and provide information regarding the temporal structure of strain profiles and dependence of the strain magnitude on the proton powers of 200 – 1400 kW. The new interrogator also measures the radiation-induced-attenuation (RIA) in the optical fiber, enabling experimental investigations of RIA profiles induced by a 700-ns radiation pulse. The radiation effects on the strain measurement performance are discussed over a radiation dose range of up to 4×108 Gy and an RIA compensation method is proposed. The measurements allow insight into the response of this unique piece of equipment and can be used for validation of simulations.