Review: optical fiber sensors for civil engineering applications

Christopher K Y Leung, Kai Tai Wan, Daniele Inaudi, Xiaoyi Bao, Wolfgang Habel, Zhi Zhou, Jinping Ou, Masoud Ghandehari, Hwai Chung Wu, Michio Imai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-906
Number of pages36
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials


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