American Society of Civil Engineers

A Tutorial Review on Fiber-Optic Sensors

by C. L. Chang, (Department of Electrical Engineering, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840 E-mail:
Section: Fiber Bragg Grating Sensor, pp. 1-9, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Earth & Space 2008: Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments
Abstract: This paper provides a tutorial on fiber-optic sensors. Since the topic spans across the many disciplines and variety of fiber-optic sensors that are researched and developed, the objective is limited to the basic technology of fiber-optic sensors. Two major classes of sensing mechanisms using optical fibers, interferometer and intensity sensor systems, are then discussed. The focus is then shifted to a review of the interferometer type of fiber-optic sensors. We begin by presenting the basic concept of the two-beam fiber-optic interferometer. This basic two-beam interferometer is then further extended to practical sensor configurations, which are widely used in many important commercial and military systems. We conclude the paper by providing the recent trends of the technology and direction of future research in this area. Finally, potential new applications will be suggested and discussed.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Fiber optics
Probe instruments