Available Technology

Scour sensor assembly

A optical scour sensor monitors scour, including deposition and ablation, in bodies of water that may be too lossy to enable use of electrical signals. A specially configured optical fiber is inserted into the sediment and the interface between the sediment and water thereby monitored using a top-mounted control box to pulse light down the cable and capture reflected signals. The optical fiber may be armored by a soft plastic concentric shield and incorporate a micro-bend inducer for detecting minute indentations in the fiber. The presence of a non-liquid, e.g., sediment, against the cable is detected because the sediment impinges on the fiber causing an indentation therein. At each indentation a reflection is sent back to the source. Using principles of optical time domain reflectometry (OTDR), the location of the indentiation is determined. The data are fed to a remote system for processing, analysis and display.

Norbert E. Yankielun

Patent Number: 
Patent Issue Date: 
March 25, 2003
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