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Proceedings Paper

Development of a single-mode optical fiber sensor for civil engineering applications
Author(s): Mohamed Barbachi; Jean-Marie Caussignac
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Paper Abstract

Regular assessment is generally necessary for the maintenance of civil engineering structures. This requires periodic or permanent inspection needing appropriate heavy and expensive equipment. The optical fiber has certain potentials for a more efficient automatic or semi automatic maintenance solution. In this paper, we study a sensor consisting of a low birefringent (LB) single-mode optical fiber, inserted between two thin steel ribbons. From a mechanical view point, the ribbon transfers its applied external loading to the fiber in the unidirectional form. This transmission causes birefringence in the optical fiber by modifying the opto-geometrical parameters related to the difference between principal stresses in the fiber core. The polarization phase shift enables then to evaluate the applied load. This system was first theoretically studied. The mechanical model assimilates the optical fiber to an elastic spring of variable stiffness. Laboratory tests were carried out to validate the proposed model. The sensors response, represented by graphs, can thus be determined. Mechanical loading can hence be measured in real time with, eventually, a several sensors multiplexing possibility. The prospects of the proposed system are worth exploring in the assessment of civil engineering materials and structures especially in 'smart ones.'

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 May 1996
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2718, Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Sensing, Processing, and Instrumentation, (30 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.240879
Show Author Affiliations
Mohamed Barbachi, Lab. Central des Ponts et Chaussees (France)
Jean-Marie Caussignac, Lab. Central des Ponts et Chaussees (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2718:
Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Sensing, Processing, and Instrumentation
Kent A. Murphy; Dryver R. Huston, Editor(s)

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