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Optical environmental sensing in wireless smart meter network

Minglong Zhang Iek Cheong Lam Arun Kumar Kin Kee Chow Peter Han Joo Chong

*Corresponding author: Kin Kee Chow K.Chow@mmu.ac.uk


In recent years, the traditional power grid is undergoing a profound revolution due to the advent and development of smart grid. Many hard and challenging issues of the traditional grid such as high maintenance costs, poor scalability, low efficiency, and stability can be effectively handled and solve in the wireless smart grid (WSG) by utilizing the modern wireless sensor technology. In a WSG, data are collected by sensors at first and then transmitted to the base station through the wireless network. The control centre is responsible for taking actions based on this received data. Traditional sensors are failing to provide accurate and reliable data in WSG, and optical fiber based sensor are emerging as an obvious choice due to the advancement of optical fiber sensing technology, accuracy, and reliability. This paper presents a WSG platform integrated with optic fiber-based sensors for real-time monitoring. To demonstrate the validity of the concept, fresh water sensing of refractive index (RI) was first experimented with an optical fiber sensor. The sensing mechanism functions with the reflectance at the fiber’s interface where reflected spectra’s intensity is registered corresponding to the change of RI in the ambient environment. The achieved sensitivity of the fabricated fiber sensor is 29.3 dB/RIU within the 1.33–1.46 RI range. An interface between the measured optical spectra and the WSG is proposed and demonstrated, and the data acquired is transmitted through a network of wireless smart meters.

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Article ID   ElectronEng-02-03-103
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