OptoSmart s.r.l. was born in 2005 by an idea of a group of southern Italy researchers as a spin-off company of the Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials of the National Council of Research, and of the Optoelectronic Division of the University of Sannio.
During last years the fast growing request by the market of innovative monitoring systems has induced OptoSmart to invest resources in order to offer a wide range of products and services concerning structural and functional monitoring applied to several technological areas, by using fiber optic sensors technology and engaging groups of specialists in several engineering fields. OptoSmart has joined strategic partners such as Ansaldo STS (one of the most important company for railways applications). From this partnership innovative systems for railways, trains and infrastructures monitoring were born in order to work with (or to substitute) the older systems based on traditional technology. The synergy with important research centers such as CIRA (Italian Aerospace Research Center) has brought the development of skills and modern solutions for aerospace structures monitoring (Project SMART). Optosmart is now one of the certified CIRA supplier. LEONARDO Company has become a new customer for resin infusion monitoring experimentations for airplanes FRP made parts. Monitoring campaigns for industrial manufacturing quality assurance have been set-up at AVIO on space fuel tanks (showing the capacity of fiber optic sensors to be “embedded” in composites), and at MAGNAGHI on landing gear parts in order to evaluate their status (health monitoring). In association with WASS (a Finmeccanica Company) an innovative fiber-optic-based hydrophone was developed. OptoSmart is MICRON OPTICS products official dealer for Italy since 2006. Since its beginning OptoSmart has been listed as consultant and “FOS” products supplier for CERN Research Center.
This has resulted in several collaborations with CERN researchers in design, development, manufacturing and deployment of customized monitoring systems of different parameters: temperature (even at cryogenic levels), relative humidity, strain (including magnetic induced strain). In that application field, where fiber optics features (EM fields immunity, multiparametric & multiplexing capability etc.) have make the difference. That harsh environment has been a challenge for OptoSmart. Several experiments have been carried out in order to study the performances also in terms of radiation hardness capability of the sensors, in particular based on Fiber Bragg Gratings technology (FBG/LPG).
As a result of that tests campaign, very reliable procedures and materials have been defined in order to guarantee a better long-term performances stability in high radiation applications, crossing well known limits of traditional electronic sensors. A detailed study and analysis of a robust and high-sensitivity reflection-type Long Period Grating (LPG) based biosensor, capable of labelfree detection of drug resistance infections biomarkers, has been proposed for the first time (Project Optobacteria). A standard LPG working in transmission mode was first transformed in a more practical probe able to work in reflection configuration; successively it was made sensitive in aqueous environment. The surface of the LPG transducer was then coated with a further ultra-thin layer in order to provide the necessary conditions for a correct bio-functionalization. That allows the anchoring reaction and the probe final functionalization to be performed in order to detect biomolecules with nanomolar concentration resolution. A consistent outcome of the same project has brought to the development of a prototype of an “Automatic Laboratory Detector” with up to 16 simultaneous LPG based probes.
Contact person : Armando Laudati