Compiled ByDeb Austin Although their acceptance has been slow, fiber-optic sensors could represent an industry of explosive growth with stepped-up educational efforts and emerging applications, says Frost & Sullivan. The North American pressure sensor markets generated 1999 revenue of $1.46 billion, Frost & Sullivan research shows. By 2006 the overall market could top $2 billion, including $22 million in fiber-optic sensors. Performance, price, and standardization concerns have slowed acceptance. But since fiber-optic sensors can function well in adverse conditions -- temperature, pressure, and toxic or corrosive environments -- they can be valuable in areas that would destroy conventional sensors. Prime-target industries: chemical sensing, transportation, building and structural monitoring, and biomedical. "A better understanding of how fiber-optic sensors can be incorporated into different applications enables manufacturers to educate potential users," says Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Emilio Gonzalez. Headquartered in San Jose, Frost & Sullivan is a strategic market consulting and training firm.