The major advantages of optical and especially fiber-optic sensors for gas detection lay in their ability to determine even very small amounts of gas. The sensor is compact, reliable, durable, noninvasive and easily capable of being integrated as well as inherent secure, since there are no electronics at the measuring point that could come in touch with easily flammable or volatile gasses. Therefore, the risk of fire or explosion is almost eliminated.
Our approach is a new system that combines the measuring channels for different tracer gasses with an intelligent evaluation algorithm to estimate the gas concentrations of various gas mixtures. The different sensor channels apply adjusted sensor materials that will result in varying sensor responses to the various tracer gasses. Since every gas combination causes an individual optical response in the combined system, this enables an identification of the tracer gas composition due to their characteristic fingerprint. An important benefit of this ‘fingerprinting’ method is that the sensitivity of the individual sensors to various substances is no longer a drawback since it can be used beneficial for our approach by increasing the uniqueness of the specific fingerprints.