Optical sensing has great potentials of high resolution, electromagnetic immunity, electrical isolation and wide dynamic range. Such features make optical sensors of great importance in applications such as telecommunications, aerospace, medicine, environmental and atmospheric monitoring. An optical sensor consists mainly of four parts: an optical source (LED, laser diode), a sensing element (optical fibers, planar optical waveguides, and 3D optical microresonators), and optical detector (optical spectrum analyzer, oscilloscope) and data processing.
At Fraunhofer, small optical sensors based on optical fibers and optical microresonators are explored in fields of aerospace, gas detection and medical diagnostics. Low-cost manufacturing, assembling and packaging strategies of such high-sensitivity optical sensors are deeply investigated to bring them to the industrial sector.