Optical fiber bragg grating instrumentation applied to horse gait detection

Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Sensors Journal, 2018, 18 (14), pp. 5778 - 5785
Issue Date:
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© 2001-2012 IEEE. This paper presents two in vivo instrumentation techniques to study the different types of gait of horses performing athletics using fiber Bragg gratings (FBG). These techniques can be used as an auxiliary tool in the early diagnosis of injuries related to the horse's locomotor system, mainly in the distal portion of the digit, one of the most common causes of retirement when they are athletes. Therefore, the first technique presented consists of the fixation of FBGs without encapsulation, directly on the dorsal wall of the hoof in each of the limbs. In the second technique presented, the FBG sensor is encapsulated in a prototype developed using a composite material reinforced with carbon fiber in a horseshoe shape. The second technique is associated with digital image processing (DIP) for better visualization of the deformation and compression forces that act upon the limbs. The first method showed sensitivity to detection of the digit compression against the ground, being able to identify walking patterns. The second technique, with the encapsulated sensor elements, also allows the capture of characteristic signals of gait, such as step walk, trot, and gallop under training conditions. Both, FBG sensor interrogation and DIP, analysis techniques have proven good performance and promising results for the clinical and biomechanical study and medical evaluations of horses even during dynamic training and competitions.
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