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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T00326X/1
Title: Multipoint Sensors for Extreme Environments
Principal Investigator: Fells, Dr J
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Cranfield University Halliburton MDA Space and Robotics
Rolls-Royce Plc (UK) UK Atomic Energy Authority
Department: Engineering Science
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 June 2020 Ends: 31 May 2025 Value (£): 1,226,073
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Instrumentation Eng. & Dev. Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
16 Sep 2019 Engineering Fellowship Interview Panel 17 and 18 September 2019 Announced
11 Jun 2019 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 11 and 12 June 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
There are many applications where infrastructure and machinery operate under extreme environmental conditions, such as very high temperatures, high pressures, high magnetic fields and exposure to radiation. The ability to obtain better measurement data within these environments has the potential to enable better control systems, leading to increased safety, increased efficiency and lower environmental impact. This project will therefore research new sensor technologies which can withstand these extreme environments, whilst allowing multiple measurements to be obtained.

This project will aim to develop multi-point pressure sensors that operate up to 700C and multi-point temperature sensors that operate up to 1500C. The sensors will be in optical fibre, which can be routed around the infrastructure to allow measurements at defined points along its length. The measurement data is recovered by injecting light into one end of the optical fibre and monitoring the light which comes back. The sensors will be fabricated by exposing the optical fibre to high intensity, short pulse laser light from the side, to cause a permanent modification inside the optical fibre. A key novelty in the research is correcting for the distortion that occurs when focussing the short pulse laser light into the optical material, to enable higher precision sensor designs. The use of sapphire will be investigated to allow operation at temperatures in excess of 1000C.

The work will be conducted at the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. There will be academic collaboration with the Osney Thermofluids Institute (University of Oxford) and Cranfield University. There are industrial collaborators in the aerospace, oilfield services and space industries. There is also collaboration with the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk