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Virginia Tech Photonics Center to develop sensors to keep power systems clean, safe
Date:8/24/2011

Blacksburg, Va. Looking for novel sensing technologies that will aid in everything from clean energy technology to the monitoring of various gases, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have selected Virginia Tech's Center for Photonics Technology http://photonics.ece.vt.edu/ to lead efforts in three unique projects. Jointly, the awards are valued at more than $3.2 million.

The photonics center has a history of achievements in the area of optical fiber sensors. Anbo Wang, Virginia Tech's Clayton Ayre Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the center, http://www.ece.vt.edu/faculty/wang.php holds a number of patents on different sensing technologies.

In the 1980s, Wang developed a sensor technology for remote oil storage measurement with a high long-term accuracy. In the 1990s, he developed another fiber-optic sensor technology for oil applications, which earned him a prestigious Research and Development 100 Award in 2004.

As the research grew, Wang started the photonics center in 1997, and it conducts a wide range of research in fiber optics for sensing, communications, and biophotonics. Creating new and improved sensors for harsh environments is a continual focus of the photonics center.

One of his DOE latest awards is critical to the development of clean energy technology in America, according to the government agency.

This new award requires Wang's center to work on the creation of a first-of-a-kind, high temperature distributed sensing platform and on improvements to the operations of fossil energy power plants. The Virginia Tech center is one of three selected by the DOE to develop these novel sensing and control technologies aimed at insuring the efficient operation of advanced, zero-emission power systems and the improvement of operations at existing
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Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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