Scientists in the optics and laser technology department of British Aerospace's Sowerby Research Centre at Filton in South UK are planning to develop 'smart' aircraft wings that look after themselves. The new wings have miniature sensors manufactured from optical fibres that change colour when they experience stress or temperature changes. The fraction of change in colour is then digitised and fed into a computer which can detect the exact nature of stress and temperature change. The miniature sensors score over their heavier electrical substitutes in terms of accuracy.
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