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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 1, Number 4, October 2005, pages 355-368

Applications of fiber optic sensors for structural health monitoring
K. Kesavan, K. Ravisankar, S. Parivallal and P. Sreeshylam

    arge and complex structures are being built now-a-days and, they are required to be functional even under extreme loading and environmental conditions. In order to meet the safety and maintenance demands, there is a need to build sensors integrated structural system, which can sense and provide necessary information about the structural response to complex loading and environment. Sophisticated tools have been developed for the design and construction of civil engineering structures. However, very little has been accomplished in the area of monitoring and rehabilitation. The employment of appropriate sensor is therefore crucial, and efforts must be directed towards non-destructive testing techniques that remain functional throughout the life of the structure. Fiber optic sensors are emerging as a superior non-destructive tool for evaluating the health of civil engineering structures. Flexibility, small in size and corrosion resistance of optical fibers allow them to be directly embedded in concrete structures. The inherent advantages of fiber optic sensors over conventional sensors include high resolution, ability to work in difficult environment, immunity from electromagnetic interference, large band width of signal, low noise and high sensitivity. This paper brings out the potential and current status of technology of fiber optic sensors for civil engineering applications. The importance of employing fiber optic sensors for health monitoring of civil engineering structures has been highlighted. Details of laboratory studies carried out on fiber optic strain sensors to assess their suitability for civil engineering applications are also covered.
Key Words
    EFPI fiber optic sensor; temperature calibration; apparent strain; embedded fiber optic sensor; encapsulation technique; bending; compression; tension; long-term stability; concrete; low cycle fatigue; high cycle fatigue.
Structural Engineering Research Center, Tharamani, Chennai-600 113, India

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