Fiber Optic Sensors

Published - Nov 2005| Analyst - Lori Weisenbach Cornett| Code - IAS002C
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Report Highlights

  • In 2005, total worldwide revenues for fiber optic sensors are projected to increase to $288.1 million, and to $304.3 million in 2006. Revenues are expected to increase at a modest average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 4.1% to $371.8 million in 2011.
  • Extrinsic sensors are forecast to increase at an AAGR of 4.1% until 2011, to $274.4 million.
  • Intrinsic sensors will rise from $79.9 million in 2006 to $97.4 million in 2011 at an AAGR of 4%. The largest application segment for intrinsic sensors is military technologies that tend to be specialized, seldom leading to mainstream market success.
  • These moderate growth rates reflect the challenge to fiber optic sensors to find more mainstream applications.


Fiber optic sensors (FOS) are a by-product of optical fiber research and development. The first sensors were designed to measure the performance and status of an optical network. Telecommunications remains the largest application market for FOS. Optical networks transmit voice and data across the country and around the world. The networks require constant monitoring to ensure signal transmission along fibers in the network.

In addition to telecom applications, optical fiber sensors are used for medicine, defense and aerospace applications. Optical fiber sensors can be used to measure temperature, pressure, humidity, acceleration and strain. The report considers the different types of intrinsic sensors, what they can measure and where they are used.

This BCC study analyzes the status of global markets for fiber optic sensors. They can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic sensors use fiber as the sensing element; extrinsic sensors use optical fiber to transmit signal from the sensing point to a remote controller to be analyzed. This report considers market conditions and opportunities in regional areas around the globe.


The report contains:

  • Definitions of product segments for fiber optic sensor categories
  • Analysis of technology options
  • A determination of current application markets and likely future opportunities
  • Analyses of the fiber optic sensor market geographically, by type and application, with forecasts to 2011
  • Catagorization and profiles of the companies involved
  • Details of policy organizations, conferences, authors and consortiums.


Materials and data presented in this report were obtained from telephone interviews with marketing and engineering personnel at the major companies profiled, as well as from catalogs, the Internet, patterns, and the literature search of current articles related to optical fiber sensor technology.


The author, Lori Weisenbach, received a Ph.D. in material science and engineering from the University of Arizona in 1993, based on a dissertation on the fabrication and characteristics of sol gel optical waveguides. She then worked for 2 years at Sandia National Labs on the development of thin-film zeolite filters for gas separation applications. Since 1996, she has covered the transportation market as both a contributing editor and editor of Advanced Transportation Technology News and authored numerous Opportunity Reports in advanced materials and transportation for BCC.

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