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Extrinsic Optical Sensor vs Intrinsic Optical Sensor-Difference between Extrinsic Optical Sensor and Intrinsic Optical Sensor

This page compares Extrinsic Optical Sensor vs Intrinsic Optical Sensor and mentions difference between Extrinsic Optical Sensor and Intrinsic Optical Sensor types.

As shown in the following features, variation in the light beam is sensed in fiber optical sensing. The light rays are changed either outside or inside of the fiber optic cable. Based on this fact, there are two types extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic Optical Sensor

Extrinsic optical sensor
Fig-1: Extrinsic Optical Sensor

The figure-1 depicts extrinsic optical sensor. When light beam leaves the fiber cable and get changed due to object before it reaches to the optical detector end then it is known as extrinsic optical sensor. The distance L can be measured with this type of optical sensor as shown.

Intrinsic Optical Sensor

Intrinsic optical sensor
Fig-2: Intrinsic Optical Sensor

The figure-2 depicts intrinsic optical sensor. In this type, light rays do not come out of fiber cable. They get changed inside the cable itself. One such application is shown in the figure-2 where in due to pressure applied between the two plates will change the light beam and hence pressure is measured.

Following table mentions similarities and difference between Extrinsic Optical Sensor and Intrinsic Optical Sensor.

Extrinsic Optical Sensors Intrinsic Optical Sensors
They are used in sensor applications such as temperature, pressure, liquid level, flow etc. They are used in sensor applications such as rotation, acceleration, strain, acoustic pressure, vibration etc.
They are less sensitive. They are more sensitive.
They are easy to multiplex. They are tough to multiplex.
They are prone to connection problems at entering and exit points. They do not have much of connection related problems.
They are easier to be used in various applications. They need more elaborate signal de-modulation.
They are less expensive. They are more expensive.

Refer Optical Sensor➤ for basics and other types of optical sensors.


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