Structural Health Monitoring in Composite Structures by Fiber-Optic Sensors

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Apr 4;18(4):1094. doi: 10.3390/s18041094.


Fiber-optic sensors cannot measure damage; to get information about damage from strain measurements, additional strategies are needed, and several alternatives are available in the existing literature. This paper discusses two independent procedures. The first is based on detecting new strains appearing around a damage spot. The structure does not need to be under loads, the technique is very robust, and damage detectability is high, but it requires sensors to be located very close to the damage, so it is a local technique. The second approach offers wider coverage of the structure; it is based on identifying the changes caused by damage on the strain field in the whole structure for similar external loads. Damage location does not need to be known a priori, and detectability is dependent upon the sensor's network density, the damage size, and the external loads. Examples of application to real structures are given.

Keywords: distributed sensing; principal component analysis (PCA); structural health monitoring (SHM).