IFOS’ tagging technology leverages growth-provision fiber links based on the emerging MIL-1760 connector standard. Powered by an optical interrogator based on miniature and robust photonic integrated circuits that enables small form-factor, it easily integrates with military aviation platforms. Scalable network configurability ensures passive, continuous monitoring does not interfere with network communications. IFOS, a leading developer of photonic sensing solutions, is targeting advanced fighter aircraft and has engaged the Prime Contractors. To date IFOS has demonstrated concept feasibility in the laboratory and is now fabricating the flight-worthy photonic integrated circuit (PIC)-based optical interrogator to power the network built-in-test solution. The IFOS technology is seen as a near-term upgrade that will enable expanded mission operability, enhanced prognostics and monitoring of deployed aircraft, and greater warfighter confidence in this aircraft and other platforms.
IFOS develops fiber optic sensor systems including Fiber Bragg Grating Sensor Systems supporting up to 256 precision sensors per interrogation node, which are immune to electromagnetic interference, electrically passive and less labor intensive to install. By monitoring dynamic strain (load), temperature and other structural health indicators this technology could enhance emerging LCS Condition Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+) architectures. Installation of such systems allows for real-time condition assessments, which enables more accurate maintenance planning and scheduling thus minimizing unscheduled/unnecessary maintenance events, translating to reduced operational cost, increased lifetime, and enhanced safety. A demonstration was given with 60 sensors attached to cantilever beam and aluminum plate sampled at 6 kHz. Now, IFOS is now proceeding to system testing on a LCAC in Florida and destroyer grillages at NSWC Carderock.