Pressure sensing in an internal combustion engine with an intrinsic fiber Fabry-Perot interferometer (FFPI) integrated with a spark plug is demonstrated for the first time. The spark plug was used for the ignition of the cylinder in which it was mounted. The FFPI element, protected with a copper/gold coating, was embedded in a groove in the spark-plug housing. Gas pressure in the engine induced longitudinal strain in this housing, which was also experienced by the fiber-optic sensing element. The sensor was monitored with a signal conditioning unit containing a chirped distributed-feedback laser. Pressure sensitivities as high as 0.00339 radians round-trip phase shift per pounds per square inch of pressure were observed. Measured pressure versus time traces showed good agreement with those from a piezoelectric reference sensor mounted in the same engine cylinder.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
Taehan Bae, Robert A. Atkins, Henry F. Taylor, and William N. Gibler, "Interferometric Fiber-Optic Sensor Embedded in a Spark Plug for In-Cylinder Pressure Measurement in Engines," Appl. Opt. 42, 1003-1007 (2003)