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Yizheng Zhu joins CPT

(August 27, 2012)

Yizheng Zhu has joined the ECE faculty as an assistant professor. He comes to Virginia Tech from Duke University, where he was a research scientist in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He has designed quantitative optical microscopy techniques with high sensitivity, novel fiber-optic interferometers for studying depth-resolved one- and two-dimensional light scattering, and a clinical endoscopic system based on angle-resolved low coherence interferometry.

Virginia Tech Photonics Center gets $3.2 million to develop energy-related fiber-optics sensors

(LaserFocusWorld - August 25, 2011)

Blacksburg, VA--The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have awarded $3.2 million to the Center for Photonics Technology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) for three projects related to fiber-optic sensing.

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DOE Award for High Temperature Structural Health Monitoring

(August, 2011)

CPT was selected for a 3-year $1.2 million award by the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory to develop a first-of-a-kind technology for remote fiber optic generation and detection of acoustic waves for structural health monitoring. The proposed technology will require no electric power supply at the monitoring site and is expected to be able to operate in high temperature and multiplexing capability for multi-location monitoring at the same time. It would allow the recording of information about various material conditions including temperature, strain, corrosion, and cracking. This remote high temperature monitoring capability would fulfill a variety of key material and structure monitoring needs in fossil fuel electric power generation systems.

DOE Award for Economical Clean Coal Technology

(August, 2011)

CPT was recently award a 3-year $1.17 million project by the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory to investigate and develop a fiber optic technology for fully distributed measurement of ultra-high temperatures. This technology would allow extraction of health information about the refractory liners of a coal gasifier. Coal gasification is known to be the best clean coal technology to date. However, the ultra-high temperature and the extreme chemical corrosion involved in the gasification process often forces operators to frequently shut down a gasifier for refractory replacement. The proposed technology would substantially reduce the shutdown frequency for significant improvement in gasifier operating efficiency and cost saving. In this project CPT researchers will collaborate with Eastman Chemical Co.

New Project for Transformer Health Diagnostics

(August, 2011)

CPT recently started a multi-year research effort with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to develop a new class of laser technology sensors for power transformer health diagnostics. Power transformers are the most critical and costly components in electric power transmission and distribution systems. Catastrophic failures of transformers can occur without warning, resulting in serious oil spills, fires, extensive damage to adjacent equipment and major disruption to power service. When the transformer cannot be repaired due to the extensive damage, the cost of the failures can be several times the cost of new transformers since the cost for reinstallation, transportation, other equipment damage and/or outages caused by the failure, lost sales revenue, etc., can easily drive the total cost of a single failure into tens of millions of dollars. In this approximately 4 year effort, CPT will work with EPRI to develop an easy way to use economical laser technology for sample-less measurement of dissolved gases in transformer oil which can provide real-time data about transformer health.

Gas Sensors to Improve Coal Mine Safety

(August, 2011)

CPT lately was engaged in a 5-year effort to develop a fiber optic sensor technology for real-time measurement of multiple chemical gases in coal mines. It is well known that the safety of coal mining has been a concern worldwide for a long time. Excessive gases such as methane, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide could impose a significant threat to miners' safety causing a catastrophe. Therefore, high sensitivity detection of these gases is extremely important especially at locations that are difficult to access and have no electric power supply. The advantage of remote and passive operation of fiber optic gas sensors is excellent fit to this application. In this 5-year effort, CPT will work with a team led by Dr. Kray Luxbacher in the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering at Virginia Tech. This work is supported by the coal industry.

CPT Alumni Receive Major Awards

Dr. Hai Xiao, Associate Professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology will receive MST's Faculty Excellence Award in February, 2011. This award recognizes teaching, research and service excellence.

Dr. Xingwei Wang, Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts, Lowell, has recently received the prestegious NSF CAREER Award for her work entitled "Novel Mechanism for Generation and Receiving of Ultrasound on a Single Fiber Using Nanoparticles."

Recent Award: NSF Distributed Sensing

$300,000, three-year project begins 10/1/2010

CPT has won a new NSF award to develop a novel, fully-distributed sensing platform based on temporary, traveling long-period gratings (LPGs). This work is expected to result in the first ever fully-distributed sensing platform for physical, chemical, and biological detection.

New Development: 3D Interferometric Imagingy System

High-resolution surface mapping system completed April, 2010

Researchers at CPT have just completed work on a high-resolution non-contact 3D imaging system with better than 25um surface height resolution. Based on Fourier Transform Interferometry, the system uses a simple fiber optic coupler source to project an optical fringe pattern on an object's surface. Several novel image processing techniques, recently published in Optics Express, enable the device to handle challenging rough and discontinuous surfaces, making it potentially useful for a wide variety of applications.

Recent Award: DOE Single-Crystal Sapphire Sensor

$2.3M, three-year project began 9/1/2009

CPT is continuing their work to develop a single-crystal sapphire temperature sensor for use in ultra-harsh environment energy applications. This three-year continuation will build on previous successfull work to demonstrate the sensor in an industrial coal gasifier and a power generation turbine.