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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2010, Article ID 930796, 13 pages
Research Article

Truly Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Structural Health Monitoring: From the Telecommunication Optical Fiber Drawling Tower to Water Leakage Detection in Dikes and Concrete Structure Strain Monitoring

1EDF R&D, 6 quai Watier, 78401 Chatou, France
2EDF CIH, Savoie Technolac, 73370 Le Bourget du Lac, France
3LCPC, 58 bld Lefebvre, 75015 Paris, France
4Andra, 1-7 rue Jean Monnet, 92298 Chatenay-Malabry, France

Received 1 September 2009; Revised 18 January 2010; Accepted 11 February 2010

Academic Editor: Jinying Zhu

Copyright © 2010 Jean-Marie Henault et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although optical fiber sensors have been developed for 30 years, there is a gap between lab experiments and field applications. This article focuses on specific methods developed to evaluate the whole sensing chain, with an emphasis on (i) commercially-available optoelectronic instruments and (ii) sensing cable. A number of additional considerations for a successful pairing of these two must be taken into account for successful field applications. These considerations are further developed within this article and illustrated with practical applications of water leakage detection in dikes and concrete structures monitoring, making use of distributed temperature and strain sensing based on Rayleigh, Raman, and Brillouin scattering in optical fibers. They include an adequate choice of working wavelengths, dedicated localization processes, choices of connector type, and further include a useful selection of traditional reference sensors to be installed nearby the optical fiber sensors, as well as temperature compensation in case of strain sensing.