Application of smart optical fibre sensors for structural load monitoring

Heddwyn Davies, Lorna A. Everall, Andrew M. Gallon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a smart monitoring system, incorporating optical fibre sensing techniques, capable of providing important structural information to designers and users alike. This technology has wide industrial and commercial application in areas including aerospace, civil, maritime and automotive engineering. In order to demonstrate the capability of the sensing system it has been installed in a 35m free-standing carbon fibre yacht mast, where a complete optical network of strain and temperature sensors were embedded into a composite mast and boom during lay-up. The system was able to monitor the behaviour of the composite rig through a range of handling conditions. The resulting strain information can be used by engineers to improve the structural design process. Embedded fibre optic sensors have wide ranging application for structural load monitoring. Due to their small size, optical fibre sensors can be readily embedded into composite materials. Other advantages include their immediate multiplexing capability and immunity to electro-magnetic interference. The capability of this system has been demonstrated within the maritime and industrial environment, but can be adapted for any application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-123
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Load monitoring
  • Optical fibre
  • Sensors
  • Smart structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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