Keita Broadwater, Donald B. Barker, Patricia F. Mead, John Kolasinski,
and James R. Watkins
CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Center
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Optical fiber connectors are passive components used to link two fiber links or a fiber link to a photonic device. One widely used type of fiber connector, a design that uses a thermally cured epoxy adhesive, has been evaluated via Bragg grating-based fiber strain sensors. Strain sensors were used to evaluate the strain incurred by the optical fiber as a result of installation and subsequent environmental testing. Preliminary mechanical modeling and a strain analysis using Bragg grating-based strain sensors are discussed. Since the strain sensors were not exposed to uniaxial loading, mechanical modeling was used to determine the optimum placement of the sensors and the expected response. Also discussed are ongoing studies to evaluate the viscoelastic behavior of the epoxy and its effect on the strain state of the connector assembly.
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