How to re-connect to an optical fiber sensor embedded in any composite structure after trimming or breakage of the optical fibre? In a ESA iti type A project Com&Sens has developed together with its partner imec a new methodology with the following key technologies:
Optical fibres embedded in composites (i.e. Fibre Bragg gratings); Optical connection method using waveguides;  Mechanically stable connector

An European patent application for the ‘Self Written Waveguide connection of embedded fibers’  idea has been filed.

No (fragile) fibre egress point, re-connection and repair is possible(Re-) connection of optical fibre (sensors) embedded in composite materials will lead to more confidence in technology, and will enhance take up of embedded sensors in the composite industry.

Unique selling points:  non-intrusive method: no need to embed additional tubing or accessories in the composite lay-up; composite edge trimming remains possible; low-loss fibre connection; enables integration of communication channels 

Figure (left) composite sample produced with embedded optical fibres, trimming line is shown in blue. (right) the connected composite sample.