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A review of distributed optical fiber sensors for civil engineering

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On the 23rd May 2016, Antonio Barrias (ESR11) published the paper titled “A Review of Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Civil Engineering Applications” together with his supervisors Joan Ramon Casas and Sergi Villalba, in the Physical Section of Sensors, an original peer-reviewed journal covering all aspects of Physical Sensing. This paper is open access and available for download at the DOI link provided with the full reference below.


The application of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems to civil engineering structures has been a developing studied and practiced topic, that has allowed for a better understanding of structures’ conditions and increasingly lead to a more cost-effective management of those infrastructures. In this field, the use of fiber optic sensors has been studied, discussed and practiced with encouraging results. The possibility of understanding and monitor the distributed behavior of extensive stretches of critical structures it’s an enormous advantage that distributed fiber optic sensing provides to SHM systems. In the past decade, several R & D studies have been performed with the goal of improving the knowledge and developing new techniques associated with the application of distributed optical fiber sensors (DOFS) in order to widen the range of applications of these sensors and also to obtain more correct and reliable data. This paper presents, after a brief introduction to the theoretical background of DOFS, the latest developments related with the improvement of these products by presenting a wide range of laboratory experiments as well as an extended review of their diverse applications in civil engineering structures.  -> Link to full text in repository
Keywords: Fiber optics; structural health monitoring; distributed fiber sensing; time domain reflectometry; frequency domain reflectometry; civil engineering.

(a) Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona, and (b) DOFS installed on the masonry vaults

Sensors (ISSN 14248220, 14243210) is published by Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). Both theoretical and experimental papers in Physical Sensing are considered, as well as review papers. Subjects include without being limited to, electrical and thermal-based sensors, mass-sensitive and fiber-optic sensors, optoelectronic and photonic sensors, gas sensors, physical sensor applications for food industry and environmental monitoring, physical sensor arrays, modeling, design and software for physical sensors, sensor technology and new physical sensor principles (Source: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/sensors/sections/physicalsensors). According to scimagojr, the journal has the following impact indicators:

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