sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Photo Gallery Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters
Sail-World.com : Innovative sensors - a future use for cruising sailors?
Innovative sensors - a future use for cruising sailors?

'’If only we’d had some warning!’'    .

Wouldn't you like to know when your mast or your boom has reached its structural limits? Know BEFORE there are any tell-tale signs visible? BEFORE it falls on top of you? A new technology is in the pipeline that could provide that information in the future, according to a new experiments by Wolfgang Schade and his team in Munich.

The new fibre optic sensor system could alert crew members when a craft reaches its structural limits. Such a system is designed to measure in real time the oceanic forces that act on hulls, masts and sails.

For a cruising sailor the loss of major items in the middle of any ocean is a significant worry, and as far as racing sailors are concerned, you have to remember that only one of the six teams in the 2012 Volvo Ocean Race from New Zealand to Brazil reached its destination; the others were sidelined with 'technical problems'.

So while the big money will no doubt be put to solving the problem for racing boats, what a boon it would be for cruising sailors. A fibre optic system fitted to a yacht could warn sailors of structural weak points and let them know if their vessel is in imminent danger of breaking apart.

The sensor system, in development by Schade and his team in the Project Group for Fiber Optical Sensor Systems at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, in Munich, is well on its way to becoming a reality. The technology is based on integrating fibre Bragg gratings into glass fibre at defined intervals to alter the refractive index.

'With fibre optic sensors, we can detect delaminations and even cracks at any early stage – long before a part breaks or fails,' Schade said. 'All you need is a fibre optic cable, in which dozens of sensors can be fitted.' The equipment includes the sensors, an LED, a spectrometer and electronics.

Sailors will be able to access crucial structural data in real time with specially developed apps on their smartphones from any point on the vessel.

To demonstrate the system, sail manufacturer Dimension-Polyant fitted a web of glass fibers containing 45 measuring points to a mainsail and genoa on a boat in the sailing workshop of Jens Nickel, whom Schade met at a boat fair.

A test sai revealed that tension in the head, at the top of the sail, was greater than had been assumed and that the strain on some other parts of the sail was lower than expected. The sail maker adjusted the production process accordingly.

Schade’s next objective is to adapt the technology to competitive racing. 'We have now fitted sail battens with fibre optic sensors, which will help competitors in the future to find the optimal trim,' he said.

As with all of these developments, the technology will take time to trickle down to cruising world. But then, patience is a familiar requirement for the successful cruising sailor.


by Photonics/Sail-World Cruising

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=102163

3:09 PM Tue 18 Sep 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

04 Sep 2012  Rescue response - a step up in future
03 Sep 2012  GPS navigation on iPhone/iPad just got easier for sailing America
01 Aug 2012  Super Rope Cinch: a hundred applications on a boat
25 Jul 2012  Product of the Week: A radar reflector for your grab bag
25 Jul 2012  Product of the Week: A radar reflector for your grab bag
18 Jul 2012  'Nerves of glass' will one day warn you of a yacht's breaking points
20 Jun 2012  Online keel checker - free until June 2014
28 May 2012  Sea Scoopa break through with Royal Australian Navy
19 May 2012  Robotic sailing boat goes for a world record
28 Mar 2012  Engineer invents new buoyancy aid for dinghies/classic boats
MORE STORIES ...






Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World











Springtime Greening: Boaters Tips for Earth Day by BoatUS Foundation/Sail-World Cruising,










British rescuers go for their own circumnavigation challenge by Derby Telegraph/Sail-World Cruising,


How sailors really do have a voice in the future of our oceans by Sandra Whitehouse, Sailors for the Sea,


Message-in-a-bottle record - 102 years by AFP/Sail-World Cruising,














Canadian solo sailor rescued north of Auckland by Sail-World Cruising round-up,
























Free online fuel spill course - how much do you know? by BoatUS Foundation/Sail-World Cruising,




Product of the Week: Chafe guards save lines from friction
Government sneaks through the 'Affordable Boat Act'
Japan's Antarctic whaling program harpooned
Yacht of the Week: Kokomo III - and she could be yours
Life-shattering event sends 'rookie' couple sailing the world
Mysteries of the seas, happening right now - missing, sunk, foul play
Sail Norway and Russia this summer - your own boat, or charter
Sunshine4kids' 'Fleet of Hope' sets off again
3,200-year-old boat found in Croatian waters
Product of the Week: the LineGrabber
Mediterranean Mooring - How to moor stern-to to a dock or quay
Canadian storm bomb threat - sailors advised: get off the water!
Carbon monoxide poisoning - is it possible on YOUR boat?
Sailing family condemmed for taking 3-year-old on circumnavigation
New contract-free plan for satellite communicator on your smart phone
Yacht of the Week: The Dashew creation: no sails, but eco-friendly
No laughing! Sailing mistakes I don't want to make
Multihull Solutions Phuket 2014 Regatta - new sponsorship
Destination: From Moscow Sea to the White Sea
Land sailors of India on adventure across the Rann
Jet stream gets fish in hot water   
Still no plans for e-Borders   
A Paint App to (almost) replace your marine store assistant   
Air warms but water slower - be careful, sailors, of hypothermia   
Volunteer Canadian rescue team homeless - any offers?   
Hilary Lister and Nashwa Al Kindi set a new trans-ocean record   
How to anchor and 'never utter a word'   
Non-pyrotechnic flares for my boat - Can I or can't I?   
Health benefits of sailing   
Cruising in the Maldives - some nuts and bolts   
ISAF Guide to Offshore Personal Safety for Racing and Cruising   
Halyard Tension - a video   
Winchrite - for lazy days or extra muscle-power   
Researcher examines 'current leaks' that may change the way you sail   
Paris off to attempt to circumnavigate the world again   
Need a tow from that helicopter? - watch the video and don't laugh   
Certain oil spill products shown to be ineffective and toxic + Video   
The Constrictor: a powerful 'Queen' of sailing knots!   
British leisure craft permitted to use red diesel in Belgian waters   
Boat painting - simple but best tips   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  



















 
Our Advertisers are committed to our sport, please support them!
This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia Pty. Ltd and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.

Photographs are copyright by law. If you wish to use or buy a photograph you must contact the photographer directly (there is a hyperlink in most cases to their website, or do a Google search.) with your request.

Please do not contact Sail-World.com as we cannot give permission for use of other photographer’s images.

Only if the photographer named on the image is Sail-world.com, Powerboat-world.com, Marinebusiness-world.com or NZBoating-World.com.
Contact us .
Ph: +61 2 8006 1873 or complete our feedback form    Contact us .
   View our Privacy Policy.    [Go Home]     [  Banner Advertising Specification]    [Bot Archive ]

Customised news feeds -Marine Industry companies, Clubs and Associations have their own customised version of our news feed on their website.
Look_here_to_see_examples

X6XL NEW CRU NH