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Applications > Civil Engineering

The civil engineering and infrastructure industry is one of the largest users of optical fibre sensing systems, not surprising given that many of the key advantages of optical fibre sensing lend themselves perfectly well to the requirements of long-term monitoring of distributed sensors over large structures. For certain applications in civil engineering and infrastructure, simply the cost of a fibre optic sensing system, in which hundreds of locations can be simultaneously monitored with one single instrument, provides sufficient benefit compared with more conventional, electrical technologies. Other benefits of optical fibre sensing can also be brought to bear, such as the significantly reduced complexity of installation and cable management made possible with highly multiplexed fibre optic sensing configurations, in which dozens of sensors can be connected in a chain on one single fibre. The highly remote capabilities of optical fibre sensing are also of huge value to very large structures such as bridges, dams and tunnels, in which the sensing system can extend over many kilometres without need for signal amplification and without any of the undesirable down-lead effects associated with many similar electrical technologies.

Smart Fibres has made a business of exploiting these capabilities in the civil engineering and infrastructure industry, having been responsible for the deployment of systems on bridges, tunnels, roadways, buildings and ancient monuments right across the globe. This has been achieved with the help of a network of partners providing local logistics and support to our international customers.

With Smart Fibres' broad range and increasingly low cost of optical fibre sensor and instrumentation solutions, we believe that our technology will become more and more widespread industry whereby monitoring with optical fibre sensors will become the norm rather than the exception.

Within this range we offer:

  • sensors for measuring small load and strain changes with static and dynamic instrumentation
  • acceleration measurements to monitor structural performance under wind loading and during seismic events
  • concrete embeddable sensors to monitor the health of foundations and major support structures
  • displacement sensors to monitor the effectiveness of expansion joints and to track crack growth in structures with known damage
  • pressure and load transducers having a variety of applications within the industry.

To see our track record of civil engineering and infrastructure installations, please visit our reference page