An optical sensor is a device that converts light rays into electronic signals. It measures the physical quantity of light and translates it into a form read by the instrument.
One of the features of an optical sensor is its ability to measure the changes from one or more light beams. This change is mostly based on the alteration of the light’s intensity. Optical sensors can work either on single point method or through a distribution of points. The major importance to the proper use of an optical sensor is that it retains certain facets of measured properties. It must always remain sensitive to the property.
Optical Sensors are used in numerous research, and commercial applications such as for quality and process control, medico technologies, metrology, imaging, and remote sensing.
Advantages and disadvantages-
Some of the significant advantages of optical sensors as compared to conventional (or, non-optical) sensors are: greater sensitivity, electrical indifference, freedom from electromagnetic interference, wide dynamic range, both point and distributed configuration and its multiplexing capabilities.
A difficulty of all sensors, both optical and non-optical, is interference from multiple effects. A sensor intended to measure strain or pressure may be very temperature-sensitive.
Almost all of the physical measurands can be measured, and some of the measurands possible through optical sensors are: temperature, pressure, flow, displacement, vibration, rotation, magnetic fields, acceleration, force, humidity, strain, velocity, pH, electric fields, radiation, and chemical species.
Principle of operation-
Optical sensors incorporate an infra-red transmitter and receiver device housed in a si...
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...uodenum, etc., and dentistry for contact probes to measure blood flow in the teeth and gums.
• Fiber optic sensors are used in monitoring the physical health of structures such as buildings, bridges, dams, tunnels, monuments, pipelines and many others in real time.
Optical sensors have proven in the past to be very simple and cost-effective devices. Because of the existence of many different optical principles which can be classified into use of direct optical detection or taking advantage of labeled compounds, in principle many of these methods can be applied to a huge number of applications. In some or the other form, optical fiber plays a very important role in today’s optical sensors. Looking at the industry trends in the past two decades, it seems that there is going to be a lot of improvements and researches to the existing optical sensors.
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