Discontinuous Brillouin strain monitoring of small concrete bridges: Comparison between near-to-surface and "smart" FRP fiber installation techniques

Filippo Bastianini, Andrea Rizzo, Nestore Galati, Ursula Deza, Antonio Nanni

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Brillouin fiber optic sensing is a promising technology for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) whose diffusion is however at present reduced by the unavailability of proper sensor products and established installation techniques specifically aimed at the building industry. Due to its intrinsic distributed sensing capability, Brillouin systems can individually measure the deformation of any single segment of considerable lengths of single-mode fiber. In addition, Brillouin retains all the other typical advantages of Fiber Optic Sensors (FOS), such as harsh environment durability and electro-magnetic interference rejection. These advantages, especially considering that the required sensors are really low cost, make the system particularly attractive for periodical ("discontinuous") strain monitoring of unattended infrastructures that might be exposed to ageing and vandalism damages. Despite the high equipment cost, the technique can become economically convenient when the same initial investment can be amortized over a number of applications that can be monitored periodically using the same device. This work presents a comparison between two different Brillouin sensor installation techniques: Near-to-Surface Fiber (NSF) embedding and smart-FRP sensor bonding. Both systems have been experimented in the field on small Reinforced Concrete (RC) bridges subject to a diagnostic load test. The obtained results clearly highlight the advantages of the smart-FRP system, in terms of performance enhancements, installation cost, and time reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number64
Pages (from-to)612-623
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberPART 2
StatePublished - Sep 29 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventSmart Structures and Materials 2005 - Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 7 2005Mar 10 2005


  • Bridge monitoring
  • Brillouin
  • Distributed sensing
  • Fiber optic
  • Load test
  • Reinforced concrete
  • Smart material

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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