Fiber optic thermal property probe

Technical Summary

Dr. Heng Ban, the Director of the Center for Thermohydraulics and Material Properties at Utah State University, has developed an optic fiber based probe for thermal property measurement. The fiber-based thermal properties probe configuration maintains the fiber based heating (pump) laser and detection (probe) laser in close proximity but at a fixed separation distance. The pump beam periodically heats the sample inducing thermal waves into the sample. The probe beam, through a probe fiber, measures the phase of the temperature at a known distance away from the pump beam for a range of modulation frequencies. This allows for the measurement of thermal diffusivity of a bulk material that has a reflective coating. This is ideal for in-situ measurements, and has many advantages for laboratory based systems. The fiber coupling makes the technique attractive for remote applications or harsh circumstances as the fiber optic would be the only component exposed to harsh irradiation effects. The optical fiber would also make it easier to apply the measurement equipment to a sample surface with simple alignment requirements. The technology is portable, so it can be used for special applications, such as in a high temperature or radioactive environment.


Commercial Applications

This technology would be especially useful in a lab environment. It could also be used to measure nuclear materials in hot cell environments. The target market for this product is likely labs working with nuclear materials or other elements that need precise measurements. 


Competitive Advantages

•  Allows for onsite thermal property measurement 

•  Portable and optic fiber based


Additional Information


Patent Information:
Electrical and Electronics
For Information, Contact:
Christian Iverson
Utah State University
Heng Ban