Review: optical fiber sensors for civil engineering applications


Optical fiber sensor (OFS) technologies have developed rapidly over the last few decades, and various types of OFS have found practical applications in the field of civil engineering. In this paper, which is resulting from the work of the RILEM technical committee “Optical fiber sensors for civil engineering applications”, different kinds of sensing techniques, including change of light intensity, interferometry, fiber Bragg grating, adsorption measurement and distributed sensing, are briefly reviewed to introduce the basic sensing principles. Then, the applications of OFS in highway structures, building structures, geotechnical structures, pipelines as well as cables monitoring are described, with focus on sensor design, installation technique and sensor performance. It is believed that the State-of-the-Art review is helpful to engineers considering the use of OFS in their projects, and can facilitate the wider application of OFS technologies in construction industry.

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Correspondence to Kai Tai Wan.

Additional information

This work is derived from a study by the RILEM Technical Committee on "Optical Fiber Sensors for Civil Engineering Applications". Other members of the committee are: Farhad Ansari, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA; Evangelos Astrinidis, CRD Group, Greece; Muhammed Basheer, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK; Rolf Broennimann, EMPA, Switzerland; Paulo Cruz, University of Minho, Portugal; Wei-Liang Jin, Zhejiang University, China; Ki Soo Kim; Stijn Matthys, Ghent University, Belgium; Aftab Mufti, University of Manitoba, Canada; John Newhook, Dalhousie University, Canada; Stephanie Schuler, BAM, Germany; Joe Seinfield, Purdue University, USA; Gamil Tadros, Speco Engineering, Ltd, Canada; Leon Wegner, University of Saskatchewan, Canada; Zhishen Wu, Ibaraki University, Japan.

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Leung, C.K.Y., Wan, K.T., Inaudi, D. et al. Review: optical fiber sensors for civil engineering applications. Mater Struct 48, 871–906 (2015).

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  • Optical fiber sensors
  • Monitoring
  • Fiber Bragg grating
  • Distributed sensor
  • Interferometry
  • Time domain reflectometry
  • Frequency domain reflectometry