QuantumX MXFS BraggMETER: How it evolved to become what it is and the expertise behind it

Since 2004, HBM has been manufacturing optical interrogators based on the proprietary BraggMETER technology. Always trying to achieve the best possible results, our experts have regularly improved the interrogators over the past 16 years.
 
The transformation has not only made the interrogators smaller and more lightweight but also significantly improved the devices’ speed thus increasing both accuracy and the range of applications. See the evolution of the HBM optical interrogators and get to know the experience and expertise behind it.

The evolution of HBM Optical Interrogators

See how the devices changed compared to the first optical interrogator by clicking on the interrogators in the picture!

With the continuous development process of the optical interrogators, our experts have achieved remarkable improvements. Not only the technological functionality, but also the physical features changed.

  • Increased sample rate
    From the first optical interrogator in 2004 until to new QuantumX MXFS module, the maximum sample rate has significantly increased - the interrogator became two thousand times faster. Beginning with a maximum rate of 1 S/s, this rate was increased increased in several steps. 
    The MXFS also offers two modes with different operation speeds, which makes the interrogator fit for to more applications and also allows highly accurate temperature measurements in batteries.
     
  • Smaller volume
    450 x 180 x 370 mm – this was the incredible oversize of the first optical interrogator in 2004. Hard to imagine how this device could have been flexibly used. The next versions became both 5.6 times smaller, and better however, not good enough.
    Meanwhile, it has 14 times less volume than the original. Todays’ MXFS is compatible with the QuantumX modular solutions and thus, flexible and easy to handle – technically and and in terms of size.
     
  • More leightweight
    Starting with a weight of 15kg, the 1st version of the optical interrogators was neither very handy nor easy to move.
    However, over the years, the optical interrogators increasingly evolved towards to a lower-weight measuring solution, that is easy to carry and allows for use on mobile structures that require weight control. The weight of the new QuantumX MXFS is only 2kg.
 

 

 

 

 

year

2004 

2010 

2016 

2020

size

450 x 180 x 370 mm

155 x 125 x 275 mm

155 x 125 x 275 mm

174 x 88 x 135 mm

weight

15 kg

4 kg

4 kg

2 kg

max. sample rate

1 S/s

 500 S/s

1000 S/s

2000 S/s

smart peak detection

no

yes (only for 1 S/s)

yes (only for 1 S/s)

yes

max. no. of connectors

8 (commuting)

8 (parallel)

8 (parallel)

8 (parallel)

wavelength range

1530 to 1570 /
1520 to 1580 nm

1500 to 1600 nm

1500 to 1600 nm

1500 to 1600 nm


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What Exactly Is an Optical Interrogator?

An optical interrogator, also known as measurement unit or data acquisition system, is an optoelectronic instrument, which allows the reading of optical sensors, e.g. Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors, in static and dynamic monitoring applications. An FBG interrogator can measure a large sensing network composed by various types of sensors such as strain, temperature, displacement, acceleration, or tilt that connected along multiple fibers, by acquiring data simultaneously.

During data acquisition, the interrogator measures the wavelength associated with the light reflected by the optical sensors and then converts it into engineering units. The readings are then transmitted via Ethernet or FireWire for archiving, analyzing or exporting using a software interface. With the right QuantumX modules setup, the interrogator can be integrated into different communication protocols such as PROFIBUS or CANbus.

FBG sensors are easy to install, electromagnetically safe and can also be used in highly explosive atmospheres. In order to retrieve the most accurate measurements, you need the right interrogator. Suitable for large scale sensing networks, HBM's interrogators provide precise and high resolution static and dynamic measurements.

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