September 1, 2005 Norwalk, CT -- According to an upcoming report from Business Communications Company ("RG-116N Fiber Optic Sensors"), total worldwide revenues for fiber-optic sensors (FOS) are projected to increase from a current estimate of $288.1 million 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 by 2011.
The firm says the moderate growth rate reflects the challenging status of FOS over the next five years. According to the firm, the promise of the technology is still great, but the initial rush to fund research is over, with significant challenges remaining. To move beyond the status of niche application, says the firm, fiber-optic sensors must drop in price significantly.
According to the firm: 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; telecom networks require constant monitoring to ensure signal transmission along the fibers in the network. In addition to telecom applications, FOS are used in medicine, defense, and aerospace applications. Optical fiber sensors can be used to measure temperature, pressure, humidity, acceleration, and strain.
The firm sees the FOS market as divided into the two broadest categories of sensors, extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic sensors are used in telecommunications to monitor the status and performance of the optical fibers within a network. In 2005, the firm estimates extrinsic sensor revenues at $214.8 million. This market segment is forecast to increase at an average annual rate of 4.1% until 2011, when extrinsic sensor revenues will be $274.4 million, according to the firm.
The intrinsic sensor market is forecast to grow at an AAGR of 4.0% to $97.4 million by 2011. Growth in intrinsic sensors is forecast to be rather tepid in some application markets due to ongoing challenges with the technology, says the firm. The largest application segment for intrinsic sensors is military applications, which tend to be specialized and often one-of-a-kind projects that seldom lead to mainstream market success, according to the firm. Market revenues for intrinsic sensors lag extrinsic sensors; however, the firm says that the category of intrinsic sensors is where the greatest opportunity for new market entrants exists.
The firm concludes that while FOS technology has tremendous potential, this potential has only been realized within the telecommunications market.