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Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Optical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2023) | Viewed by 59927

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Lab Navier, Univ. Gustave Eiffel, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), F-77447 Marne la Vallée, France
Interests: durability of FRP composites and bonded assemblies used in construction; bio-based composites; nanoparticle-reinforced polymers and adhesives; quantitative and non-destructive inspection methods applied to bonded joints; SHM of concrete structures with fiber-optic sensors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Matériaux et Structures (MAST) Department, Univ. Gustave Eiffel, 14-20 Boulevard Newton, CEDEX 2, F-77447 Marne la Vallée, France
Interests: externally bonded Fiber‐Reinforced Polymer (FRP) for the repair; strengthening, and retrofitting of existing reinforced concrete (RC) structures; FRP rebars for the strengthening of RC structures; optical fiber sensors for the SHM of RC structures
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
EDF, R&D, PRISME-P15, France
Interests: SHM of civil engineering structures; non-destructive testing of concrete structures; fiber optic sensors; ultrasound testing.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Structural health monitoring (SHM) is a crucial process in the maintenance strategy for concrete infrastructures, as it enables real-time diagnosis of the integrity and the state of wear/damage of the structure. In this context, truly Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensor (DFOS) systems paired with an optoelectronic interrogator offer the possibility to record various measurands at thousands of locations along the fiber sensor, over long distances, and with a user-customizable spatial range down to the centimeter scale. This emerging technology is very promising for the SHM of large reinforced concrete structures, as it can provide both local/global information on material and structural characteristics like strain, temperature, sound, and vibration. Such information can then be analyzed to detect, localize, and quantify structural defects and degradation related to concrete pathologies, such as stress concentrations, crack onset and development, moisture, leakages, corrosion of steel rebars, creep, and shrinkage, and swelling pathologies, such as alkali–aggregate reactions and sulfate attacks.

Nevertheless, extensive research efforts are needed to improve the monitoring performance of DFOSs, methods for assessing the reliability/accuracy of DFOS measurements with respect to the effective state of the host structure, the durability of DFOSs under service conditions (especially when embedded in an alkaline concrete medium or directly exposed to the outdoor environment), and post-processing methods for converting the huge quantity of data into relevant indicators for users and maintenance operators.

For this Special Issue, we invite the submission of original research articles and reviews dedicated to recent developments in and research on experimental, practical, and theoretical aspects of the SHM of concrete structures using DOFS instrumentation. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • recent progress in distributed fiber-optic sensors (DFOS) in the field of civil engineering;
  • structural health monitoring;
  • distributed measurements based on Raman, Rayleigh, or Brillouin scattering;
  • analysis of the strain response of DFOS;
  • crack detection and quantitative evaluation of crack openings in concrete structures with DFOS;
  • monitoring of concrete pathologies using DOFS;
  • temperature measurements based on DFOS;
  • decoupling of strain and temperature effects on the DFOS response;
  • distributed acoustic sensors (DAS);
  • corrosion monitoring sensors;
  • distributed moisture sensing;
  • coating and sensor packaging;
  • sensing tapes;
  • performance of DOFSs bonded to the surface of/embedded in concrete structures;
  • durability under service conditions;
  • aging behavior of DFOSs;
  • reliability/uncertainty assessment of DOFS instrumentation;
  • post-processing techniques for event detection and data interpretation based on automated signal analysis or Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods; and
  • case studies and applications of DOFS instrumentation in the field.

Dr. Karim Benzarti
Dr. Marc Quiertant
Dr. Jean-Marie Hénault
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • truly distributed fiber-optic sensors (DFOS);
  • structural health monitoring (SHM);
  • Rayleigh, Brillouin, and Raman scattering;
  • concrete structures;
  • crack monitoring;
  • reliability/uncertainty assessment;
  • durability aspects;
  • post-processing of collected data.

Published Papers (16 papers)

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10 pages, 2992 KiB  
Article
Structural Health Monitoring Using a New Type of Distributed Fiber Optic Smart Textiles in Combination with Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry (OFDR): Taking a Pedestrian Bridge as Case Study
by Sabrina Abedin, Andres M. Biondi, Rui Wu, Lidan Cao and Xingwei Wang
Sensors 2023, 23(3), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23031591 - 1 Feb 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2109
Abstract
Distributed fiber optic sensors (DFOS) have become a new method for continuously monitoring infrastructure status. However, the fiber’s fragility and the installation’s complexity are some of the main drawbacks of this monitoring approach. This paper aims to overcome this limitation by embedding a [...] Read more.
Distributed fiber optic sensors (DFOS) have become a new method for continuously monitoring infrastructure status. However, the fiber’s fragility and the installation’s complexity are some of the main drawbacks of this monitoring approach. This paper aims to overcome this limitation by embedding a fiber optic sensor into a textile for a faster and easier installation process. To demonstrate its feasibility, the smart textile was installed on a pedestrian bridge at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. In addition, dynamic strain data were collected for two different years (2021 and 2022) using Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry (OFDR) and compared, to determine the variability of the data after one year of installation. We determined that no significant change was observed in the response pattern, and the difference between the amplitude of both datasets was 14% (one person jumping on the bridge) and 43% (two people jumping) at the first frequency band. This result shows the proposed system’s functionality after one year of installation, as well as its potential use for traffic monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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35 pages, 11905 KiB  
Article
Temperature and Humidity Stability of Fibre Optic Sensor Cables for High Resolution Measurements
by Marcus Maier, Cedric Kechavarzi, Xiaomin Xu and Janet M. Lees
Sensors 2023, 23(3), 1296; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23031296 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2337
Abstract
Fibre optic sensors offer a means for the real-time continuous measurement of temperature or strain in concrete structures. Backscattered light along a fibre optic sensing (FOS) cable is interrogated to record a frequency shift and this shift is typically translated into a physical [...] Read more.
Fibre optic sensors offer a means for the real-time continuous measurement of temperature or strain in concrete structures. Backscattered light along a fibre optic sensing (FOS) cable is interrogated to record a frequency shift and this shift is typically translated into a physical parameter such as strain or temperature using a calibration factor. However, when the measured frequency shift is a response to a combination of mechanical, thermal or hygral (humidity) loadings it is difficult to decouple individual influences. This presents a challenge in complex materials such as concrete where the strain, temperature and moisture levels change concurrently during the fresh and hardened states. Furthermore, depending on the application, both short- and longer-term measurements are required. As such, not only is the influence of these physical factors of interest but also the time and spatial stability of the measured frequency, which is highly dependent on the FOS cable composition. To investigate this aspect, fibre optic cables commonly used for strain (three tight-buffered cables) or temperature (two loose-buffered cables) measurement were considered. The cables were subjected to mechanical or environmental exposure and interrogated using a high-resolution optical backscatter reflectometer. The exposure regimes included three temperature cycles with sustained steps from 10 °C to 60 °C and back to 10 °C and an increasing and decreasing humidity cycle with steps between 30 to 90% relH. These ranges were selected to be indicative of typical environments for concrete. The results showed that the calibration factors back-calculated from increasing and decreasing temperature or humidity cycles differed. The third temperature cycle results were found to exhibit the smallest differences between heating and cooling suggesting that temperature pre-conditioning prior to installation could be advantageous. For all the cables, a drift in the readings was observed over the duration (2.5 h for temperature and 30 h for moisture) of the sustained steps. The magnitude of the drift depended on the cable type and exposure condition. In addition, local frequency fluctuations along the cable were observed which would need to be taken into account if only a single point along the cable length was used for analysis. The obtained results highlight the importance of the cable selection to maximise the FOS measurement fidelity for a given parameter of interest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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34 pages, 25510 KiB  
Article
Crack Shape Coefficient: Comparison between Different DFOS Tools Embedded for Crack Monitoring in Concrete
by Tomasz Howiacki, Rafał Sieńko, Łukasz Bednarski and Katarzyna Zuziak
Sensors 2023, 23(2), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23020566 - 4 Jan 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2568
Abstract
The article presents research on the performance of different distributed fibre optic sensing (DFOS) tools, including both layered cables and monolithic composite sensors. The main need for the presented research was related to the growing applications of the DFOS techniques for the measurements [...] Read more.
The article presents research on the performance of different distributed fibre optic sensing (DFOS) tools, including both layered cables and monolithic composite sensors. The main need for the presented research was related to the growing applications of the DFOS techniques for the measurements of cracked concrete structures. There are no clear guidelines on the required parameters of the DFOS tools, which, despite their different designs, are offered for the same purpose (strain sensing). The state-of-the-art review and previous experiences show noticeable differences in the quality of the results depending on the applied DFOS tool. The technical construction of selected solutions was described with its theoretical consequences, and then laboratory tests on full-size reinforced concrete beams were discussed. Beams equipped with embedded tools were investigated in four-point bending tests, causing the formation of multiple cracks in the tension zone along the beams’ length. The results in the form of strain profiles registered by selected DFOS tools were analysed regarding the qualitative (crack detection) and quantitative (width estimation) crack assessment. The comparison between crack-induced strain profiles was based on a new parameter called crack shape coefficient CSC, which could be applied to assess the effectiveness of the particular DFOS tool in crack detection and analysis. It was one of the world’s first research allowing for such direct comparison between the layered and monolithic sensing tools. The summary indicates practical guidelines referring to the preferable design of the tools best suitable for crack measurements, as well as the field proofs based on data from two concrete bridges in Germany. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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15 pages, 2270 KiB  
Article
Performance Assessment of Distributed Strain Sensing Techniques for Convergence Monitoring of Radioactive Waste Repository
by Arianna Piccolo, Yann Lecieux, Sylvie Lesoille, Pierre Teixeira, Johan Bertrand and Dominique Leduc
Sensors 2023, 23(1), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23010398 - 30 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1361
Abstract
This paper presents the measurement methodology of diameter reduction monitoring of micro-tunnel structures used for radioactive waste storage based on distributed strain measurements along fiber optic sensors installed on the circumference. The whole measurement procedure is described: the calibration of the sensors for [...] Read more.
This paper presents the measurement methodology of diameter reduction monitoring of micro-tunnel structures used for radioactive waste storage based on distributed strain measurements along fiber optic sensors installed on the circumference. The whole measurement procedure is described: the calibration of the sensors for use in harsh environment (temperature and radioactivity), the measurement analysis technique, the performance assessment of different measurement systems on a surface mock-up and the in-situ validation on an underground structure. The performances of Brillouin and Rayleigh backscattering measurements are compared, as well as different fixation technologies. Distributed measurements are compared to alternative measurements: displacement sensors, Bragg grating extensometers and MEMS accelerometers. The distributed Rayleigh backscattering measurement performed on optical cables bonded to the surface of the structure appears to be the best solution for monitoring the convergence of micro-tunnels and offers comparable performance to alternative technologies tested on the surface demonstrator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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22 pages, 6447 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Fiber Optic Cable for Strain Profiling and Crack Growth Measurement in Rock, Cement, and Brittle Installation Media
by Samuel Nowak, Taghi Sherizadeh, Mina Esmaeelpour, Dogukan Guner and Kutay E. Karadeniz
Sensors 2022, 22(24), 9685; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22249685 - 10 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2218
Abstract
Brillouin scattering-based distributed fiber optic sensing (DFOS) technologies such as Brillouin optical time domain reflectometry (BOTDR) and Brillouin optical time domain analysis (BOTDA) have broad applicability for the long term and real-time monitoring of large concrete structures, underground mine excavations, pit slopes, and [...] Read more.
Brillouin scattering-based distributed fiber optic sensing (DFOS) technologies such as Brillouin optical time domain reflectometry (BOTDR) and Brillouin optical time domain analysis (BOTDA) have broad applicability for the long term and real-time monitoring of large concrete structures, underground mine excavations, pit slopes, and deep subsurface wellbores. When installed in brittle media, however, the meter scale spatial resolution of the BOTDR/A technology prohibits the detection or measurement of highly localized deformations, such as those which form at or along cracks, faults, and other discontinuities. This work presents a novel hybrid fiber optic cable with the ability to self-anchor to any brittle installation media without the need for manual installation along fixed interval points. Laboratory scale testing demonstrates the ability of the hybrid fiber optic cable to measure strains across highly localized deformation zones in both tension and shear. In addition, results show the applicability of the developed technology for strain monitoring in high displacement environments. Linear relationships are proposed for use in estimating the displacement magnitude along discontinuities in brittle media from strain signals collected from the hybrid fiber optic cable. The hybrid fiber optic cable has broad potential applications, such as geomechanical monitoring in underground mines, surface pits, large civil infrastructure projects, and deep subsurface wellbores. The benefits of fiber optic sensing, such as the intrinsic safety of the sensors, the long sensing range, and real time capabilities make this a compelling technique for long term structural health monitoring (SHM) in a wide range of industrial and civil applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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19 pages, 5518 KiB  
Article
Measurement of Restrained and Unrestrained Shrinkage of Reinforced Concrete Using Distributed Fibre Optic Sensors
by Jacob S. Yager, Neil A. Hoult, Evan C. Bentz and Joshua E. Woods
Sensors 2022, 22(23), 9397; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22239397 - 2 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2248
Abstract
Shrinkage is an important component of the behaviour of reinforced concrete (RC) structures, however, the number of variables that affect shrinkage make it a complex time-dependent phenomenon. Additionally, as new concrete materials with lower embodied carbon gain popularity, there is a need for [...] Read more.
Shrinkage is an important component of the behaviour of reinforced concrete (RC) structures, however, the number of variables that affect shrinkage make it a complex time-dependent phenomenon. Additionally, as new concrete materials with lower embodied carbon gain popularity, there is a need for an in-depth understanding into their shrinkage behaviour before they can be widely adopted by industry. Currently, the shrinkage behaviour of concrete is studied using discrete measurements on small-scale unrestrained prisms. Distributed fibre optic sensing (DFOS) potentially provides a method of measuring both restrained (with reinforcement) and unrestrained (without reinforcement) shrinkage in both small-scale specimens and structural elements. In the current study, methods of measuring distributed unrestrained shrinkage strains were developed and evaluated, and the restrained shrinkage strains in different types of structural members were studied. Unrestrained shrinkage strains were measured using fibres optic cables embedded in small concrete prisms, while restrained shrinkage strains were measured with fibres bonded to the longitudinal reinforcement. Unrestrained shrinkage strains were found to be highly variable (as large as 3800 microstrain range) depending on location, but further research needs to be undertaken to account for end effects, early-stage shrinkage, and bond between the fibre optic cable and the concrete. Restrained shrinkage strains from structural members revealed non-uniform shrinkage strain distributions along member length due to functional grading as well as high supplementary cementitious material concretes, suggesting that shrinkage models will need to account for this variability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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26 pages, 8233 KiB  
Article
Application of Distributed Optical Fiber Sensing Technology to the Detection and Monitoring of Internal Swelling Pathologies in Massive Concrete Blocks
by Ismail Alj, Marc Quiertant, Aghiad Khadour, Quentin Grando and Karim Benzarti
Sensors 2022, 22(20), 7797; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22207797 - 14 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2020
Abstract
This paper presents an experimental application of Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors (DOFS) for the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of concrete structures affected by internal swelling pathologies. In the framework of a large research project aiming to assess the possible extension of the operating [...] Read more.
This paper presents an experimental application of Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors (DOFS) for the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of concrete structures affected by internal swelling pathologies. In the framework of a large research project aiming to assess the possible extension of the operating lifetime of nuclear power plants from 40 to 60 years, massive blocks were cast from reactive concrete mixtures intended to develop delayed ettringite formation and alkali–silica reaction. These blocks were subjected to specific ageing conditions to initiate and accelerate the concrete pathologies. Some of the blocks were instrumented with DOFS bonded to the surface and embedded in the concrete. Using an interrogator device based on Rayleigh backscattering and a suitable procedure to eliminate temperature effects, distributed strain measurements were then performed at different time intervals. The first results of this ongoing study made it possible to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of this sensing technology for detecting and monitoring expansion induced by swelling pathologies in representative-scale concrete structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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18 pages, 11187 KiB  
Article
Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Monitoring of Civil Engineering Structures
by Kinzo Kishida, Michio Imai, Junichi Kawabata and Artur Guzik
Sensors 2022, 22(12), 4368; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22124368 - 9 Jun 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3448
Abstract
Distributed Fiber Optics Sensing (DFOS) is a mature technology, with known, tested, verified, and even certified performance of various interrogators and measurement methods, which include Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS), Distributed Temperature-Strain Sensing (DTSS), and Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). This paper reviews recent progress [...] Read more.
Distributed Fiber Optics Sensing (DFOS) is a mature technology, with known, tested, verified, and even certified performance of various interrogators and measurement methods, which include Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS), Distributed Temperature-Strain Sensing (DTSS), and Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). This paper reviews recent progress in two critical areas of DFOS implementation in large scale civil engineering structures. First is the substantial improvement in sensing accuracy achieved by replacing Brillouin scattering-based measurements with its Rayleigh counterpart. The second is progress in acquisition speed and robustness, as now engineers can observe parameters of interest in real-time, and make informed, operational decisions regarding quality and safety. This received a high valuation from field engineers when used during the construction stage of the project. Furthermore, this change in the use of DFOS in civil engineering greatly increases the practical possibility of installing FO cables permanently. The same FO cables can be later used for long-term monitoring, during maintenance periods throughout the structure’s lifetime. To illustrate these two advances, we present a comparison between Brillouin and Rayleigh scattering measurements, and their accuracy, and highlight the importance of temperature and strain separation. We also present several important applications in large scale civil engineering infrastructure projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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23 pages, 26641 KiB  
Article
Distributed Fiber-Optic Strain Sensing of an Innovative Reinforced Concrete Beam–Column Connection
by Shenghan Zhang, Han Liu, Esam Darwish, Khalid M. Mosalam and Matthew J. DeJong
Sensors 2022, 22(10), 3957; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22103957 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2827
Abstract
Distributed fiber-optic sensing (DFOS) technologies have been used for decades to detect damage in infrastructure. One recent DFOS technology, Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry (OFDR), has attracted attention from the structural engineering community because its high spatial resolution and refined accuracy could enable new [...] Read more.
Distributed fiber-optic sensing (DFOS) technologies have been used for decades to detect damage in infrastructure. One recent DFOS technology, Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry (OFDR), has attracted attention from the structural engineering community because its high spatial resolution and refined accuracy could enable new monitoring possibilities and new insight regarding the behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) structures. The current research project explores the ability and potential of OFDR to measure distributed strain in RC structures through laboratory tests on an innovative beam–column connection, in which a partial slot joint was introduced between the beam and the column to control damage. In the test specimen, fiber-optic cables were embedded in both the steel reinforcement and concrete. The specimen was tested under quasi-static cyclic loading with increasing displacement demand at the structural laboratory of the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center of UC Berkeley. Different types of fiber-optic cables were embedded both in the concrete and the rebar. The influence of the cable coating and cable position are discussed. The DFOS results are compared with traditional measurements (DIC and LVDT). The high resolution of DFOS at small deformations provides new insights regarding the mechanical behavior of the slotted RC beam–column connection, including direct measurement of beam curvature, rebar deformation, and slot opening and closing. A major contribution of this work is the quantification of the performance and limitations of the DFOS system under large cyclic strains. Performance is quantified in terms of non-valid points (which occur in large strains when the DFOS analyzer does not return a strain value), maximum strain that can be reliably measured, crack width that causes cable rupture, and the effect of the cable coating on the measurements. Structural damage indices are also proposed based on the DFOS results. These damage indices correlate reasonably well with the maximum sustained drift, indicating the potential of using DFOS for RC structural damage assessment. The experimental data set is made publicly available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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17 pages, 1278 KiB  
Article
Improving Prediction Accuracy and Extraction Precision of Frequency Shift from Low-SNR Brillouin Gain Spectra in Distributed Structural Health Monitoring
by Nur Dalilla Nordin, Fairuz Abdullah, Mohd Saiful Dzulkefly Zan, Ahmad Ashrif A Bakar, Anton I. Krivosheev, Fedor L. Barkov and Yuri A. Konstantinov
Sensors 2022, 22(7), 2677; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22072677 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1997
Abstract
In this paper, we studied the possibility of increasing the Brillouin frequency shift (BFS) detection accuracy in distributed fibre-optic sensors by the separate and joint use of different algorithms for finding the spectral maximum: Lorentzian curve fitting (LCF, including the Levenberg–Marquardt (LM) method), [...] Read more.
In this paper, we studied the possibility of increasing the Brillouin frequency shift (BFS) detection accuracy in distributed fibre-optic sensors by the separate and joint use of different algorithms for finding the spectral maximum: Lorentzian curve fitting (LCF, including the Levenberg–Marquardt (LM) method), the backward correlation technique (BWC) and a machine learning algorithm, the generalized linear model (GLM). The study was carried out on real spectra subjected to the subsequent addition of extreme digital noise. The precision and accuracy of the LM and BWC methods were studied by varying the signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) and by incorporating the GLM method into the processing steps. It was found that the use of methods in sequence gives a gain in the accuracy of determining the sensor temperature from tenths to several degrees Celsius (or MHz in BFS scale), which is manifested for signal-to-noise ratios within 0 to 20 dB. We have found out that the double processing (BWC + GLM) is more effective for positive SNR values (in dB): it gives a gain in BFS measurement precision near 0.4 °C (428 kHz or 9.3 με); for BWC + GLM, the difference of precisions between single and double processing for SNRs below 2.6 dB is about 1.5 °C (1.6 MHz or 35 με). In this case, double processing is more effective for all SNRs. The described technique’s potential application in structural health monitoring (SHM) of concrete objects and different areas in metrology and sensing were also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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28 pages, 6466 KiB  
Article
Application of Distributed Fibre Optical Sensing in Reinforced Concrete Elements Subjected to Monotonic and Cyclic Loading
by Yasmin Lemcherreq, Tena Galkovski, Jaime Mata-Falcón and Walter Kaufmann
Sensors 2022, 22(5), 2023; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22052023 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2956
Abstract
Distributed fibre optical sensing (DFOS) is increasingly used in civil engineering research. For reinforced concrete structures, almost continuous information concerning the deformations of embedded reinforcing bars can be obtained. This information enables the validation of basic and conventional assumptions in the design and [...] Read more.
Distributed fibre optical sensing (DFOS) is increasingly used in civil engineering research. For reinforced concrete structures, almost continuous information concerning the deformations of embedded reinforcing bars can be obtained. This information enables the validation of basic and conventional assumptions in the design and modelling of reinforced concrete, particularly regarding the interaction of concrete and reinforcing bars. However, this relatively new technology conceals some difficulties, which may lead to erroneous interpretations. This paper (i) discusses the selection of sensing fibres for reinforced concrete instrumentation, accounting for strain gradients and local anomalies caused by stress concentrations due to the reinforcing bar ribs; (ii) describes suitable methods for sensor installation, strain acquisition and post-processing of the data, as well as determining and validating structurally relevant entities; and (iii) presents the results obtained by applying DFOS with these methods in a variety of experiments. The analysed experiments comprise a reinforced concrete tie, a pull-out test under cyclic load, and a flexural member in which the following mechanical relevant quantities are assessed: the initial strain state in reinforcing bars, normal and bond shear stresses, deflections as well as forces. These applications confirm the benefit of DFOS to better understand the bond behaviour, but also demonstrate that its application is intricate and the results may lead to erroneous conclusions unless evaluated meticulously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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43 pages, 13585 KiB  
Article
Environmental Durability of an Optical Fiber Cable Intended for Distributed Strain Measurements in Concrete Structures
by Ismail Alj, Marc Quiertant, Aghiad Khadour, Quentin Grando and Karim Benzarti
Sensors 2022, 22(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22010141 - 26 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3901
Abstract
The present study investigates the environmental durability of a distributed optical fiber sensing (DOFS) cable on the market, commonly used for distributed strain measurements in reinforced concrete structures. An extensive experimental program was conducted on different types of specimens (including samples of bare [...] Read more.
The present study investigates the environmental durability of a distributed optical fiber sensing (DOFS) cable on the market, commonly used for distributed strain measurements in reinforced concrete structures. An extensive experimental program was conducted on different types of specimens (including samples of bare DOFS cable and plain concrete specimens instrumented with this DOFS cable) that were exposed to accelerated and natural ageing (NA) conditions for different periods of up to 18 months. The instrumentation of both concrete specimens consisted of DOFS cables embedded at the center of the specimens and bonded at the concrete surface, as these two configurations are commonly deployed in the field. In these configurations, the alkalinity of the surrounding cement medium and the outdoor conditions are the main factors potentially affecting the characteristics of the DOFS component materials and the integrity of the various interfaces, and hence impacting the strain transfer process between the host structure and the core optical fiber (OF). Therefore, immersion in an alkaline solution at an elevated temperature or freeze/thaw (F/T) and immersion/drying (I/D) cycles were chosen as accelerated ageing conditions, depending on the considered configuration. Mechanical characterizations by tensile and pull-out tests were then carried out on the exposed specimens to assess the evolution of the mechanical properties of individual component materials as well as the evolution of bond properties at various interfaces (internal interfaces of the DOFS cable, and interface between the cable and the host structure) during ageing. Complementary physico-chemical characterizations were also performed to better understand the underlying degradation processes. The experimental results highlight that immersion in the alkaline solution induced a significant and rapid decrease in the bond properties at internal interfaces of the DOFS cable and at the cable/concrete interface (in the case of the embedded cable configuration), which was assigned to chemical degradation at the surface of the cable coating in contact with the solution (hydrolysis and thermal degradation of the EVA copolymer component). Meanwhile, F/T and I/D cycles showed more limited effects on the mechanical properties of the component materials and interfaces in the case of the bonded cable configuration. A comparison with the same specimens exposed to outdoor NA suggested that the chosen accelerated ageing conditions may not be totally representative of actual service conditions, but provided indications for improving the ageing protocols in future research. In the last part, an analysis of the distributed strain profiles collected during pull-out tests on instrumented concrete specimens clearly illustrated the consequences of ageing processes on the strain response of the DOFS cable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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24 pages, 7966 KiB  
Article
Fundamental Studies on the Use of Distributed Fibre Optical Sensing on Concrete and Reinforcing Bars
by  Tena Galkovski, Yasmin Lemcherreq, Jaime Mata-Falcón and Walter Kaufmann
Sensors 2021, 21(22), 7643; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21227643 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 2834
Abstract
Distributed fibre optical sensing (DFOS) allows for quasi-continuous strain measurement in a broad range of gauge lengths and measurement frequencies. In particular, Rayleigh backscatter-based coherent optical frequency domain reflectometry has recently registered a significant application increase in structural concrete research and monitoring thanks [...] Read more.
Distributed fibre optical sensing (DFOS) allows for quasi-continuous strain measurement in a broad range of gauge lengths and measurement frequencies. In particular, Rayleigh backscatter-based coherent optical frequency domain reflectometry has recently registered a significant application increase in structural concrete research and monitoring thanks to its numerous merits, such as high resolution and low invasiveness. However, it is not a plug-and-play technique. The quality of the acquired data depends highly on the choice of the fibre optical sensor and the methods of instrumentation and post-processing. Furthermore, its unprecedented resolution and sensitivity allow capturing local effects not well documented so far. This paper analyses the suitability of DFOS based on Rayleigh backscatter for reliably measuring strains and discusses the origin and structural relevance of local variations in the results. A series of experimental investigations are presented, comprising tensile tests on bare reinforcing bars and concrete compression tests. A critical analysis of the results leads to a best practice for applying DFOS to reinforcing bars and concrete, which establishes a basis for reliable, accurate measurements in structural concrete applications with bonded reinforcement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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25 pages, 11093 KiB  
Article
Distributed Fiber Optic Shape Sensing of Concrete Structures
by Christoph M. Monsberger and Werner Lienhart
Sensors 2021, 21(18), 6098; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186098 - 11 Sep 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 5348
Abstract
Civil structural health monitoring (CSHM) has become significantly more important within the last decades due to rapidly growing construction volume worldwide as well as aging infrastructure and longer service lifetimes of the structures. The utilization of distributed fiber optic sensing (DFOS) allows the [...] Read more.
Civil structural health monitoring (CSHM) has become significantly more important within the last decades due to rapidly growing construction volume worldwide as well as aging infrastructure and longer service lifetimes of the structures. The utilization of distributed fiber optic sensing (DFOS) allows the assessment of strain and temperature distributions continuously along the installed sensing fiber and is widely used for testing of concrete structures to detect and quantify local deficiencies like cracks. Relations to the curvature and bending behavior are however mostly excluded. This paper presents a comprehensive study of different approaches for distributed fiber optic shape sensing of concrete structures. Different DFOS sensors and installation techniques were tested within load tests of concrete beams as well as real-scale tunnel lining segments, where the installations were interrogated using fully-distributed sensing units as well as by fiber Bragg grating interrogators. The results point out significant deviations between the capabilities of the different sensing systems, but demonstrate that DFOS can enable highly reliable shape sensing of concrete structures, if the system is appropriately designed depending on the CSHM application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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Review

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23 pages, 1252 KiB  
Review
Digital Twin for Civil Engineering Systems: An Exploratory Review for Distributed Sensing Updating
by Mattia Francesco Bado, Daniel Tonelli, Francesca Poli, Daniele Zonta and Joan Ramon Casas
Sensors 2022, 22(9), 3168; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22093168 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 59 | Viewed by 6823
Abstract
We live in an environment of ever-growing demand for transport networks, which also have ageing infrastructure. However, it is not feasible to replace all the infrastructural assets that have surpassed their service lives. The commonly established alternative is increasing their durability by means [...] Read more.
We live in an environment of ever-growing demand for transport networks, which also have ageing infrastructure. However, it is not feasible to replace all the infrastructural assets that have surpassed their service lives. The commonly established alternative is increasing their durability by means of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM)-based maintenance and serviceability. Amongst the multitude of approaches to SHM, the Digital Twin model is gaining increasing attention. This model is a digital reconstruction (the Digital Twin) of a real-life asset (the Physical Twin) that, in contrast to other digital models, is frequently and automatically updated using data sampled by a sensor network deployed on the latter. This tool can provide infrastructure managers with functionalities to monitor and optimize their asset stock and to make informed and data-based decisions, in the context of day-to-day operative conditions and after extreme events. These data not only include sensor data, but also include regularly revalidated structural reliability indices formulated on the grounds of the frequently updated Digital Twin model. The technology can be even pushed as far as performing structural behavioral predictions and automatically compensating for them. The present exploratory review covers the key Digital Twin aspects—its usefulness, modus operandi, application, etc.—and proves the suitability of Distributed Sensing as its network sensor component. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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83 pages, 38686 KiB  
Review
A Review of Recent Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors Applications for Civil Engineering Structural Health Monitoring
by Mattia Francesco Bado and Joan R. Casas
Sensors 2021, 21(5), 1818; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21051818 - 5 Mar 2021
Cited by 165 | Viewed by 12178
Abstract
The present work is a comprehensive collection of recently published research articles on Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) campaigns performed by means of Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors (DOFS). The latter are cutting-edge strain, temperature and vibration monitoring tools with a large potential pool, namely [...] Read more.
The present work is a comprehensive collection of recently published research articles on Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) campaigns performed by means of Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors (DOFS). The latter are cutting-edge strain, temperature and vibration monitoring tools with a large potential pool, namely their minimal intrusiveness, accuracy, ease of deployment and more. Its most state-of-the-art feature, though, is the ability to perform measurements with very small spatial resolutions (as small as 0.63 mm). This review article intends to introduce, inform and advise the readers on various DOFS deployment methodologies for the assessment of the residual ability of a structure to continue serving its intended purpose. By collecting in a single place these recent efforts, advancements and findings, the authors intend to contribute to the goal of collective growth towards an efficient SHM. The current work is structured in a manner that allows for the single consultation of any specific DOFS application field, i.e., laboratory experimentation, the built environment (bridges, buildings, roads, etc.), geotechnical constructions, tunnels, pipelines and wind turbines. Beforehand, a brief section was constructed around the recent progress on the study of the strain transfer mechanisms occurring in the multi-layered sensing system inherent to any DOFS deployment (different kinds of fiber claddings, coatings and bonding adhesives). Finally, a section is also dedicated to ideas and concepts for those novel DOFS applications which may very well represent the future of SHM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Concrete Structure Monitoring)
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