Following 1960's telecommunication industrial advancement the fiber optical sensing technology has been developing for several decades. The invented fiber sensors were basically based on intrinsic and extrinsic light reflection, transmission and interference properties. Fiber Bragg grating fabrication technology was invented in 1980's but the fiber Bragg grating based sensing technology was quickly developed for Oil filed and downhole intelligent wells production monitoring application after 2000. Nowadays, fiber Bragg grating and Fabry-Perot interferometer are two dominated fiber optical sensing technologies that have been widely tested in various industrial process, infrastructure health condition, and industrial & University R&DE. However, it is still long-way to go as being an enabling technology for various engineering applications.

BI's Research, Development, and Engineering

Despite of huge success in using fiber sensing technology in different industrial sections, this sensing technology still needs to be more robust, low-cost, and the improved performance. On the other hand, although FBG-based sensor can be used to measure many physical measurands, such as pressure, temperature, strain, vibration, displacement, acceleration, chemicals, industrial gases, and tilt etc., we still face great challenges in the sensor packages for harsh environmental deployment. We can regard existing single-measurand sensor package and diverse sensing instruments as the first-generation products or fruits. Boston Instruments' interest is in second-generation sensors and sensing technology R&DE, which have following features:

- Multi-measurand or Multi-function;
- Plug-and-play based sensing module;
- Robust sensing module package;
- Flexible adhesive bonding material for fiber sensor package;
- Miniaturized and module-based multi-channel optical sensing interrogator;
- Distributed & quasi-distributed hybrid sensing instruments;
- Intelligent algorithm and software;
- Industrial standard optical sensing instrument;
- High-bandwidth data transmission via wireless and Internet;
- Flexible data fusion and integration.

Another specific R&D field relates to:

  • Harsh environmental specific gas sensor (High-purity H2, CO2, H2S, CO, and CH4 etc.) sensor design and prototyping;
  • Hermetical gas sensor package design for hydrogen-rich electrical generator and downhole environments;
  • Distributed and spoolable fiber CH4 gas sensor package and instrumentation.
  • Novel fiber Bragg grating and nanomaterial integrated gas sensors
  • Distributed fiber optical absorption based transmission and reflection based gas snesors
  • Novel fiber gas sensor for hydrocarbon and hydrogen gas purity, quality, and cleanliness.

Business Strategy

BI's focus is on the novel design and integration on existing and newly innovations into a unique engineering solution that could fill current technology gaps for solving various customers’ challenging issues, partnered with industrial business, Universities, and technologists. 

Following are BI's currently interested R&DE areas:

Sensor Package Technology
  • Harsh environmental specific single sensor and distributed sensing cable design;
  • Hermetical sensor package design for hydrogen-rich downhole environments;
  • Distributed and spoolable acoustic & strain sensor package.
Novel Sensor Technology
  • Multi-functional sensor and multi-measurand sensing module design and development;
  • Novel sensor for hydrocarbon and hydrogen gas purity, quality, and cleanliness with RFID technology;
  • Distributed magnetic and current sensors;
  • Distributed temperature-compensated acoustic/dynamic pressure sensors and technology.
High-temeprature Optical Sensor Seal and Package Technology
  • High-temperature FBG sensor design and development;
  • FBG sensor transfer function & calibration;
  • High-temperature fiber sensor package and integration;
  • High-temperature (400C-500C) optical hermetical seal material & process.
Nanomaterial-based Sensor Technology
  • Ultrathin and multilayered engineered nanoscaled functional materials for novel chemical gas sensors;
  • Anti-hydrogen-permeation nanoscaled H2-barrier material for downhole sensors;
  • Scintillate nanoscaled materials for fiber radiation sensors;
  • Novel nanostructural voids & sponge, and particle magnetic materials for fiber electromagnetic sensors.

To meet different sensing demands from industrial and University R&DE, Boston Instruments will look for external collaboration for co-developing new sensing technology. If you have interest in a partnership or in a specific application, please contact our Engineering Services at: services@bostoninstruments.com