Structural Health Monitoring Systems Applications

Structural health monitoring systems have found a number of applications in various fields. A complex approach including several techniques is the best solution for detecting damage and structural changes.

Here are some examples of its implementation in structures where fiber optic technology is more commonly used.Structural Health Monitoring Systems Applications

Structural Health Monitoring Common Information

The most effective methods of maintenance programs include early detection of material degradation and failure. Mostly, fiber optic systems have two purposes of applications:

  • Structural efficiency control during the construction;
  • Continuous monitoring of structural efficiency under service loads.

Structural health monitoring systems consist of three subsystems:

  • A network of fiber Bragg grating sensors;
  • An FBG interrogator that records the optical reflection from each fiber optic sensor. They are placed in the necessary locations, depending on the applications and type of the structure.
  • A processing unit that collects all the data from the FBG interrogator, processes it and transmits it to the user.

Distributed Sensing Systems

Distributed temperature systems are often the choice for harsh environments where traditional sensors may not be suitable. When we talk about dams, tunnels and similar structures, there are conditions that greatly affect the operation of the structures and sensors. Ground movement, earth pressure, water and groundwater have an impact on the reliability and efficiency of any monitoring system.

Specialists can monitor all deformations and temperature changes through distributed sensing. Distributed fiber optic sensors are capable of measuring various parameters from thousands of points and transmitting them to a center that provides complex data on any changes.

Distributed temperature systems are often the choice for harsh environments where traditional sensors may not be suitable. In the case of dams, tunnels and similar structures, there are conditions that have a major impact on the operation of the facility and its sensors. Ground movement, earth pressure, water and groundwater will affect the reliability and efficiency of any monitoring system.

Structural Health Monitoring of Dams

Dam safety can have a significant impact on the surrounding environment and people. That’s why structural health monitoring of the dams is an essential part of the dam safety regime. Timely detection of defects and minimizing the effects of possible damage are the main purposes of such systems. However, specialists may face some difficulties due to the height and complex structures of the dams. Comprehensive structural health monitoring can’t be fully achieved with just a few monitoring points; it requires a complete, properly designed fiber optic system. Another problem is that some areas of the dams are inaccessible or difficult to access.

There are a number of factors that can affect dam construction. These include temperature, hydrostatic pressure, chemical reactions, etc. There are also environmental factors such as air temperature, reservoir levels, and earthquakes.

All of these circumstances can be the cause of typical dam problems such as cracking, displacement, etc. The other problem is the appearance of internal erosion, which can cause the failure of the whole mechanism in the future. This problem is hard to detect. That’s why it is important to have an effective fiber optic system in place for structural health monitoring and therefore safe operation.

Accidents in dams usually occur during the first filling or in the first few years of operation. However, there are also accidents that occur later.

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of Tunnels

SHM is able to provide a quick assessment of the state of health of the tunnel. It is typically used for safety improvement and optimization of maintenance and operations activities. The fiber optic monitoring system provides data on any changes in indicators that could be the cause of tunnel collapse. This makes it possible to monitor the stability of the structure and take action when it’s needed.

The construction of tunnels is based on soil conditions, the functions of the tunnels themselves, and logistical issues. Underground construction is irreplaceable, especially in cities where land resources are scarce. They are not as susceptible to the effects of natural disasters as are structures on the surface of the earth.

In the hard-to-reach or problematic areas of the tunnels, distributed monitoring systems are usually recommended. This makes it easy for staff to monitor the condition of their structures and perform necessary maintenance in a timely manner. This is especially important when it comes to fires – the biggest danger in tunnels. There are special fiber optic systems for temperature control and early warning of ignition, including fiber optic heat detectors.

Today, there are automated fiber optic solutions that provide accurate monitoring from a remote location. These fiber optic devices are often designed specifically for use in critical locations. In addition, they consider the cases that may occur, such as the use of the additional FBG sensors. If the other sensor fails, they will be able to operate.

Distributed temperature sensing is a newly introduced technique capable of complex structural health monitoring systems. Temperature and pressure control is especially important for dams and tunnels with their difficult-to-access locations and other challenges that staff usually face. SHM is the solution for these situations.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, FBG strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

Fiber Optic Sensors for Li-ion Battery Cells

Fiber optic sensors have found a number of applications where there is a strong need for temperature monitoring. The use of Li-ion batteries is no exception, and specialists have learned to use fiber optic sensors for them as well.

Temperature monitoring of Li-ion batteries is an essential aspect of their operation in the field, and the problems of temperature monitoring can be solved with the help of fiber optic sensors.

FBG Sensors for Li-ion Battery Cells

What are lithium-ion batteries?

Li-ion, or lithium-ion battery is the most common rechargeable battery that uses the reversible reduction of lithium ions to store energy. Each module consists of one or more individual cells, which are consistently connected to follow the necessary rates of voltage, energy demand and power.

Typical Li-Ion BMS includes a few thermistors to monitor on selected cells surface temperature. This means that there is a possibility that cells may heat up invisibly.

Due to the wide deployment and large number of cells in each module, there is a need for modern technologies that can monitor cell operation and prevent future catastrophic failures.

The most common problem is the significant increase in temperature and strain in the cells. The effect of high temperatures and heat production from the cell can induce a series of degradation processes, resulting in reduced capacity and performance degradation. This problem is perfectly monitored with modern distributed temperature sensing modules.

The Temperature Effect on Li-ion Batteries

Distributed temperature sensing is used because the operation of Li-ion batteries can be affected by the influence of low and high temperatures. That’s why it is necessary to maintain comfortable temperatures during operation, storage and charging.

Temperature deviations from the ideal values may occur. However, they should still be within the established operating range. In addition, the critical temperature points shouldn’t be reached. Because of the test fields, continuous use in marginal conditions leads to accelerated wear of the battery and deterioration of its technical parameters.

Cold and overheating are both undesirable and harmful for lithium-ion batteries. In cold temperatures, they can experience voltage drops, deterioration of current output and rapid discharge. However, these symptoms disappear as the temperature rises. Overheating is more dangerous to batteries. It shortens their life and reduces their performance characteristics. There is also a risk of fire in the power source.

Maintaining optimal temperature regimes during battery operation extends battery life and ensures safe use. That’s why monitoring with distributed temperature sensing is an essential element for the correct use of Li-ion batteries and the prevention of emergency situations.

Fiber Optic Sensors for Li-ion Batteries

For Li-ion batteries, fiber Bragg grating sensors have been used to obtain data on distributed temperature and strain on the battery surface in various operating conditions. Specialists use the data obtained from distributed sensing systems in real time to detect abnormal conditions and prevent battery failure.

According to the field experiments, FBG sensors have been proven to sense the temperature either in the cells or between the cells when they are placed between battery cells. As a result, fiber Bragg grating sensors are able to provide the thermal information of each cell in a battery.

Lithium-ion Battery Applications

The lithium-ion batteries are commonly used to provide uninterrupted power in data centers, factories, air and water vehicles, and other facilities. Compared with the other types of batteries, they are smaller and have a longer service life. However, there is one drawback that should be considered in its implementation. A battery contains an electrolyte that decomposes into flammable components. Today, specialists have greatly reduced the potential for explosion to the maximum, but there are still risks. That’s why fiber optic sensors are very useful for monitoring.

The commercial battery industry also includes primary batteries as one of the major segments. However, it has its peculiarities, including non-recyclable materials and hazardous components in the batteries, which also cause ecological problems.

All in all, the knowledge of the temperature distribution in a cell or between several cells is fundamental for the safety of the battery. Fiber optic sensors have proven to be suitable for both temperature and strain gradient monitoring.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, FBG strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

Distributed Sensing Systems for Leak Detection

The increasing role of the oil and gas industry has led to development of many related technologies including distributed sensing systems. Among other things, they have become a part of the leak detection technology that has proved to be one of the most powerful.

For development of the most cost-effective detection technology there should be a balance between three elements: well-trained staff, properly configured distributed monitoring systems and proper operations’ arrangement. By observing these conditions, the effective operation is achieved.

With distributed monitoring systems, the pipeline management leads to the fast detection of any accidents, thus, reducing the extent of damage, as well as unforeseen expenses.Distributed Sensing Systems for Leak Detection

The Most Common Classification of Distributed Sensing Systems

Distributed sensing is a continuous monitoring technique which operates across the whole fiber optic cable in real time.

In contrast with the conventional sensors that were previously applied, distributed sensing systems use the whole optical fiber instead of the separate sensors that measure parameters in certain points. For this reason, fiber optic systems are easier to install even in heavy ambient conditions. With fiber optic cable, specialists have no need in defining particular locations where sensors should be placed. This fact makes the monitoring process more cost-effective.

The distributed sensing systems are different due to the data they require. So, there are distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) or distributed temperature sensing (DTS).

  • Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) uses a fiber optic cable that serves as linear temperature sensors. Eventually, specialists get the full temperature profile for the required period.
  • Operation principle of the distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) is similar to the DTS system. It applies a fiber optic cable as well, that provides the data. However, instead of registering temperature changes, they are relying on the acoustic and vibration changes in fibers.

Applications of the Leak Detection Systems

Leak detection fiber optic systems are installed to get the information about any appearing changes in parameters and leak possibilities. The distributed monitoring systems are able to find leaks almost instantly.

Here are a few examples where fiber optic sensing systems have found their applications:

  • One of the last well-known developments connected to fiber optic sensors is the monitoring of offshore Arctic fields. Pipelines are constructed for safe transportation of oil and gas avoiding any leaks. However, there are high risks of their deformation because of the severe environmental conditions like the effects of ice gouging, permafrost thaw settlement, or physical damage. The absence of fiber optic monitoring systems may result in severe environmental, and economic impacts.
  • Distributed sensing systems can be also applied for liquid sodium leaks monitoring. Fiber optic sensors can be implemented into various nuclear power plants and other facilities. Electromagnetic immunity, ability to resist high temperatures and operating in radioactive environments make fiber Bragg grating sensors a powerful instrument in monitoring.
  • Distributed monitoring systems are also used at wastewater treatment plants. The leak can lead to dangerous consequences such as spillage of contaminated fluids and therefore environmental damage.

Main Purposes of the Fiber Optic Technology Applications in Leak Detection

Fiber optic sensing systems bring many benefits while using. As a result, they have become useful instruments and can be applied for different purposes. Firstly, distributed monitoring systems are usually used for monitoring any changes that take place over long distances of the pipelines. Fiber optic sensors can monitor flow rates, temperature, pressure, ground strain, etc. All measured physical parameters are sent to the center where all the data is displayed with the help of the software.

Due to the received data from fiber optic monitoring systems, specialists are able to watch any changes or conduct the necessary calculations. In case of any changes, the operator or security personnel gets a signal that there are changes and sees their accurate site. So specialists can quickly respond to any changes and prevent any further possible damage.

The other purpose of distributed sensing monitoring is leak detection. Fiber optic monitoring systems can be installed both on buried and unburied pipelines. They can detect the precise location of the leakage in a short time. Moreover, they can discover other accidents like ground disturbances, theft, manual and machine excavation, etc.

Fiber optic monitoring systems designed for the oil and gas industry can also help in optimizing the lifetime of the wells. They are used as integrity monitoring instruments of the storage tanks, process vessels and other equipment. Considering all the information, specialists can make a decision on the maintenance programs as a means of extending the service life.

Due to all these possible applications, distributed sensing systems have found their place in the gas and oil industry. Fiber optic sensing systems have proved to be cost-effective in measurements of main parameters in pipes in the conditions of severe environmental and industrial equipment.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, FBG strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

Dual Lasers in DTS Systems for Oil and Gas Wells

DTS systems provide the oil and gas and other industries with the new cutting-edge fiber optic solutions such as a groundbreaking dual laser technology which offers the most robust and the simplest distributed temperature sensing systems accessible to the industry. This technology also includes the ability of the automatic correction for dynamic changes to the sensing fiber.

What is Distributed Temperature Sensing?

Distributed temperature sensing, also known as DTS, is a technology that measures the temperature along the whole fiber optic cable in a continuous fashion. The fiber optic line can be any required length up to 30 km. The system includes the recording instrumentation at one or both ends of the cable. It can work permanently or from time to time for each use, depending on the requirements.Dual Lasers in Distributed Sensing Systems

Most Common DTS Applications

Distributed sensing systems have established themselves as an effective part of fiber optic technology. High temperatures are related to the severe environmental conditions which make operational processes difficult. However, fiber optic sensors can operate in such conditions greatly, especially, if we compare them with the electrical-based temperature sensors. That’s why fiber optic systems have found many applications, such as fire detection, healthcare, railways, etc.

DTS systems are installed on the electric power lines to monitor temperature changes. The temperature may indicate the electrical overload or other deviations from the norm in time. DTS technology allows power companies to exploit the assets more effectively.

With the help of constant monitoring, it is easy to react immediately to the temperature rising. When this rising is above a predefined threshold, the alarm sets off. The early detection and warning lead to reduction of the damage that failures may cause.

DTS Applications in the Oil and Gas Industry

Fiber optic technology has been used in the oil and gas industry for over the last 25 years. Fiber optic systems were installed in various types of oil wells starting from land wells and ending with offshore wells. Fiber optic technology allows watching down hole casing deformation or changes in sand screen completions.

Thanks to its operational principles, distributed temperature sensing offers critical asset monitoring solutions that can be applied for oil and gas companies. DTS systems immediately provide the actual and accurate information about temperature with high resolution and high speed. Fiber optic cable provides specialists with the numerous measurement readings along the whole optical fiber. This feature helps companies in detecting leaks along the pipelines, whether along its length or anywhere on the cross-section. The faster the leaks are found, the less damage can be. It means considerable cost savings for companies. Moreover, DTS technology helps in identifying under-performing zones, optimizing gas lift operations, etc.

Distributed temperature sensing has been applied safely to follow up pressure or reactor vessels. Depending on the required set-ups, the temperature measurements can be held as frequently as every 30 seconds. Any changes in temperature may point out some problems that have occurred. So the increasing temperature of the vessel wall usually predicts the system or the process failure.

Dual Lasers in DTS Systems

Each year, specialists implement DTS systems more often to make the efficiency of production better. The integration of the dual lasers into such systems is a new technology, aiming at the life extension of optical fibers and solving the most appearing concerns. The most common issues that optical fibers face are fiber darkening or their damage.

The fiber darkening can misrepresent the statements and lead to the failure of the DTS system. It occurs where there are high pressure and high temperature environments that are usual for oil wells. The darkening happens unevenly and is progressive over time that makes the manual calibration techniques ineffective. Moreover, different connectors on the fiber can result in various degrees of optical loss. Two lasers operate at different wavelengths, so there is an automated adjusting system for any changes in optical loss in the fiber. They immediately react and correct these effects which allows the further use without re-installation of the whole system from the very beginning.

Such fiber optic systems help in cost-reducing by avoiding the re-deployment of the equipment. Despite the other systems, they don’t need the manual calibration techniques, but operate automatically all over the length. The manual calibration usually requires repeated recalibration efforts.

Newly developed DTS systems with dual lasers offer great advantages especially where there is no or limited access to the optical fiber. They help to extend the lifetime of the fiber and ease fiber optic systems’ deployment.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, fbg strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

Fiber Optic Sensing for the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage

Fiber optic sensing technology has proved to be an effective method in well and reservoir management. Fiber optic sensors constantly track temperature changes along the wells at specified intervals and collect all the data.
This technique is also compliant with the other technologies such as Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD).

What is Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage?

Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (or SAGD) is an enhanced oil recovery drilling technique that helps in extracting heavy crude oil or bitumen from oil sands deposits. Mostly, the accustomed approaches in such cases are economically inefficient. Specialists may use it in particular cases when the production is difficult. With the help of the fiber optic technology this approach becomes more cost-effective.

Fiber Optic Sensing for the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD)

How does Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage work?

In short, the SAGD system’s principle is heating the heavy oil or bitumen by the steam for further extraction. For that two horizontal wells are drilled at an angle of 90 degrees to a vertical bore well. In the wells, there are two pipes, one above the other for around 4-5 meters.

At the very beginning, the cold heavy oil is essentially immobile because of the high viscosity, and it needs to be warmed up to extract it. To do so, the steam is applied. It travels through the upper well into the reservoir and expends the heat in all directions of the formation, making a steam chamber. The heat warms the bitumen and reduces its viscosity. Then the bitumen flows downward into the production well and is pumped to the surface. Both processes are going at the same time.

Current Applications of the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage

Due to the growing level of oil consumption, the level of its development needs to be increased. Not the last role is played by the SAGD and fiber optic systems such as fiber optic sensors and fiber Bragg gratings.

Like any exploration, heavy oil production needs accurate analysis and planning, especially if there are other factors that make the production difficult. Such aspects as great depth, high temperature conditions, etc. are essential. All of these issues need to be considered. The low mobility and high viscosity make the oil producing complicated and lead to low recovery indexes. However, due to the SAGD and fiber optic technology, there is an opportunity to maximize the recovery indexes.

For SAGD technology, FBG sensors are usually applied in wells to track the steam as it moves along the wellbore. Due to the fiber optic sensors, there is an opportunity to see the data in real time. According to the achieved data, the velocity of the steam can be identified. Besides, temperature sensors can also define the speed of the heating. The accurate settings of the temperature, pressure and steam-injection rates can lead to the operational savings. All the information can be used to plan the further work of the production operations.

Fiber Optic Sensors in Downhole Monitoring

Fiber optic sensors have proved to be effective for various parameters’ monitoring in downhole applications. Most of all, distributed temperature sensing (DTS) is applied for these purposes. Distributed sensing has demonstrated good results. It has high recommendations in the oil industry. DTS can monitor well temperature all over the fiber optic cable.

Due to the modernly developed fiber optic designs and improvement of fiber optic sensing technology, a range of issues related to downhole production have been solved. However, the harsh environmental conditions in the downhole can still bring some problems to the fiber optic sensors.

The sensors still need to cope with hydrogen in the severe environmental conditions. It has a great impact on the optical fibers. Firstly, it can cause pressure and temperature errors. The appearing errors are connected to the hydrogen diffusion into the microstructure and to the changes of the refractive index when hydrogen penetrates into micro holes and fiberglass. So the hydrogen leads to the additional Bragg wavelength shift.

With this in mind, specialists are constantly developing fiber optic monitoring systems based on fiber Bragg grating technology.

Advantages and disadvantages of the SAGD

SAGD has played a crucial role in the rapid development of the oil resources. However, as everything, this method has some pros and cons that should be taken into account.

Most Common Disadvantages for SAGD technology

  • Firstly, as any other technology, SAGD has its restrictions. It is not well-suited for every production area with heavy oil. It has several aspects to be fulfilled, like homogeneous and relatively thick reservoirs.
  • Secondly, high water and fuel consumption. To work effectively, SAGD needs a large amount of water and natural gas. Both of them are used in the process of steam production. That’s why the energy consumption is high but worth it. When all these conditions are satisfied, SAGD technology can be used. Moreover, the specialists advise using deep water sources that are not appropriate for consumption or agricultural uses. In fact, the majority of deployments’ developers follow this recommendation for environmental protection.
  • Thirdly, some think that SAGD technology is an expensive tool for oil production. However, specialists consider this technology as a superior alternative to reduce the high expenses and at the same time increase productivity. The reason for the cost reduction is that less horizontal wells are required to be drilled.
  • Fourthly, concerns about an environmental effect of the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) are still a topic of discussion. However, according to the statistics, over the last 20 years the environmental analysis is getting better. It is obvious that the production of the crude bitumen and oil cause environmental consequences, but due to the development of modern cleaner extraction technologies, the situation is improving.

The Main Advantages of the SAGD technology

The main benefit of the whole SAGD technology is the improved steam-oil ratio and high ultimate recovery. Besides, the DTS systems help in optimization of the oil and bitumen production.

The other SAGD advantage is the constant evolution. Every next project makes a great contribution and brings new ideas and experiences. Meanwhile, the diversity of newly developed methods leads to new approaches to different types of oil fields.

So there are other modified types of SAGD technique:

  • Shaft and Tunnel Access (SATAC);
  • Single Well SAGD (SW-SAGD);
  • Multi-drain SAGD;
  • Fast-SAGD;
  • Enhanced Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (ESAGD).

The SAGD was firstly implemented in Canada, where there are the largest reservoirs of crude bitumen. This allowed to advance the recovery factors in excess of 50%.

SAGD (steam assisted gravity drainage) well temperature monitoring provide:

  • Temperature profile control of injection and production wells;
  • Determination of inflow (injection) intervals of the fluid;
  • Determination of the fluid level in the well and perforation intervals;
  • Identification of issues in the well.

Plus, as any fiber optic technology, distributed temperature sensing for SAGD offers:

  • Maximum protection of the cable against chemical and physical effects;
  • Longer service life;
  • Convenience and speed of the installation;
  • Operations in the well without the extraction of the cable sensor.

The SAGD wells have implemented all the advantages of fiber optic sensing. FBG sensors offer real-time, precise temperature measurements along the fiber optic cable in the wellbore. Fiber optic solutions allowed us to monitor the objects that were unapproachable before. For example, fiber optic sensors with extended temperature range were applied in the oil wells for temperature control during oil production using SAGD technology.

Steam assisted gravity drainage is commonly believed to be applied for complex deployments. It aims to make the process simpler. And the fiber optic technology is good at helping it. However, the specialists should discuss and decide how fiber optic technology can fit into the development at the planning stage. Fiber optic solutions may simplify the production process.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, fbg strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

Fiber Optic Sensors for the Structural Health Monitoring

Structural health monitoring or SHM is a crucial technique thanks to the development of architectural design. Its main goal is ensuring safety for the civil infrastructure. Due to the fiber optic sensors‘ benefits, a great number of the distributed sensing systems have found application in civil engineering as SHM systems.Fiber Optic Sensors for SHM systems

What is a Structural Health Monitoring System?

Structural health monitoring is a technique of evaluating and monitoring structural health. Thanks to its capability to respond to unfavorable changes, this method is widely used in many fields including aerospace, civil, and energy sectors, etc.

Why is SHM necessary?

All structures are vulnerable to various internal and external factors that can lead to wear or malfunction. There are various reasons that can cause it. For instance, deterioration, problems in construction process, an accident or environmental load, etc. That’s why it is important to implement a monitoring system.

Damage identification systems monitor all the changes in rates in real time 24/7. It gives an opportunity to detect deviations quickly and react properly in a short period of time before significant damage is caused. Therefore, timely maintenance and repair actions reduce the repair time and operating costs.

The structural health monitoring systems provide the following benefits:

  • Increased security;
  • Detecting of the damages at an early stage of difficulties;
  • Continuous tracking;
  • Saving of operating costs and time;
  • Development of rational management and maintenance strategies, etc.

Typical Fiber Optic Sensors

In accordance with the increase of the number of buildings’ and bridges’ under construction, the health monitoring of the concrete structures has become a topical issue.

1. Temperature Sensors

Most of all, the health of the concrete structure depends on the temperature influence. Its monitoring influences the general quality and thermal resistance of the entire structure.

At early stages, the temperature shifts affect structure’ cracks and thermal stresses that are usually caused by hydration. Besides, with the help of the two crucial parameters, the maximum temperature and the temperature trend, specialists predict the future structural health.

In addition to that, there is a special system called Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) that helps to monitor the cracks that may appear in the concrete structures. Its low cost and well-considered technology are believed to be important advantages in measurement. Other advantages of the FBG temperature sensors are their accurate measurements and fast response. Besides, temperature sensors are perfect for hard-to-reach places and massive sensing networks.

2. Strain Sensors

Another popular type of the fiber optic sensors is FBG strain sensors. To find out the deformation degree, the structure’s density information is used. In fact, the stability of the structure depends on its strength. It is safe when the structure strength is greater than the applied pressure.

After calibration, the unit acquires the features of a force transducer. The strain sensor transfers the component strain accurately. Characteristics such as light phase, frequency, amplitude, or polarization state, allow operators to monitor the health of the structure. All these features change under the influence of deformation.

Due to the common features of the strain sensors, like small size, they are universal sensors for force and load control. They are often used in large machines and steel constructions where there are high loads.

3. Displacement sensors

The other type of sensors are displacement sensors the main task of which is displacement measurement. It becomes possible by the constant measurement of the distance between the sensor and an object.

These FBG sensors are frequently used because they are greatly resistant to external impacts like corrosion and electromagnetic interference. Moreover, they are applied where long term reliability and safety are demanded.

If we compare them to the strain sensors and temperature sensors, FBG displacement sensors can’t measure quantity using only fiber optic sensors. They utilize FBG response to its equivalent Bragg wavelength.

Displacement sensors are perfect for monitoring of the civil engineering structures 24/7. They are suitable for monitoring aircraft, concrete structures and other industrial applications.

4. Pressure sensors

FBG pressure sensors use reflected wavelength analysis. This kind of sensors measure various parameters under severe conditions like high temperature or pressure rates.

The fiber pressure sensor’ operational principle is based on the fact that external factors affect the Bragg wavelengths by influencing the pressure sensor. In such a case, changes of the FBG’s physical or geometrical properties are implicitly measured.

FBG pressure sensors have the same characteristics as the other fiber optic sensors. They are small, portable and provide the highest accuracy and stability.

Usually, fiber pressure sensors measure the levels of liquids and gas in pipelines or tanks. They are used for the indirect flow control in tanks and pipes. FBG pressure sensors are crucially essential in various industrial fields like liquid level monitoring in oil storage tanks, gas turbine engines, etc.

In conclusion, we should say that any of these fiber optic sensors can perform measurements as a structural health monitoring. According to the existing situation and characteristics, the specialists choose the suitable variant, thus ensuring safety for any kind of civil construction.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, fbg strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

Fiber Optic Sensing Systems for Oil and Gas Wells

Fiber optic sensing systems can greatly assist in the exploitation of oil and gas resources. During the downhole processing, technicians can face a variety of technical challenges resulting from difficult environmental conditions. Wellbore structural health monitoring is a substantial system that provides the profitability and reliability of these fields.

Fiber Bragg grating sensors have replaced traditional electronic sensors for reservoir monitoring and downhole production. In-well sensors are applied for measuring a range of parameters such as flow rate, pressure, temperature, fraction, seismic response, etc. Fiber Bragg gratings have proven themselves as reliable and accurate technology that can be applied in multilateral wells. These systems are installed in different operating environments all over the world.Fiber Optic Sensing Systems for Oil and Gas Wells

Distributed Fiber Optic Monitoring Systems’ Elements

Thanks to all the benefits, including a wide range of working temperatures and pressures, immunity to electromagnetic interference, and the possibility of usage in an adverse environment, fiber optic solutions have found many applications.

Any fiber optic sensing system consists of three components:

  • Fiber optic cable is suited to measure some physical effects with high absolute and local accuracy. Usually, cables are produced in such a way that the scattering effects are minimized. That allows maximizing transmission distance and data rate.
  • Analyzer or control panel is connected to the fiber optic cable and is designed to capture and collect data.
  • The final step is the interpretation and analysis of the whole received sensor data with the usage of the software. The software allows users to visualize strain or temperature data from the system.

The Most Common Fiber Optic Sensing Systems

There are two main types of fiber optic sensing systems: distributed acoustic sensing systems and distributed temperature sensing systems. Both of them have proven to be the most cost-effective and reliable fiber optic solutions and found their applications, including in the oil and gas industry. The main advantage of these systems is the ability to measure at each position where the fiber optic cable is installed.

Distributed Acoustic Sensing

DAS systems are optoelectronic instruments based on fiber optic technology that measures acoustic interactions all over a fiber optic cable. In DAS there is also an attached optoelectronic device that processes all the data from the cable. This technique allows acoustic frequency strain signals to be detected in harsh environmental conditions and over large distances. The sensing fiber is usually built on single-mode fiber. However, multimode sensing fibers can be also applied in some customized applications.

Distributed Temperature Sensing

DTS systems are optoelectronic instruments based on fiber optic technology that measures temperature all over a fiber optic cable. One of its advantages is providing continuous temperature information along the whole sensing cable. Moreover, specialists can predetermine the discrete sensing points for the most accurate data.

Nowadays, scientists are working in other directions. Since the invention of fiber optic technology, significant improvements have been made in both technologies and sensors. But for now, it is complicated to project a system that would combine DAS and DTS systems with the same optical fiber because of the different operation principles.

Optromix is a DTS system manufacturer that provides top of the line distributed temperature sensing systems suitable for monitoring commerce networks. If you have any questions or would like to buy a DTS system, please contact us at

Fiber Optic Technology and its recent advances

Fiber Optic Technology advancesDuring the last 60 years, fiber optic technology has been applied to improve the efficiency of developed systems in various spheres like medicine, vehicles, and other industries. Modern fiber optic solutions expand the abilities by implementing levels of data and sensing technology in the energy, medical field, and even aerospace. There are various fiber optic solutions that help researchers improve their development and make new discoveries in science.

Intrinsic and extrinsic fiber optic sensors are two wide categories of fiber optic sensors. Extrinsic fiber optic sensors utilize the fiber to manage the light to a sensing region. Then the optical signal is modulated in another environment. Talking about the intrinsic fiber optic sensors, the light remains within the waveguide. So it measures the influence of the optical fiber signal.

Intrinsic fiber optic sensor technology, where the fiber optic sensor is the fiber optic cable itself, has improved significantly during recent years. There are two main technologies connected to intrinsic fiber optic sensors: scattering and FBG. FBG methods can be fully distributed or have many sensing points. With the help of FBG sensors, scientists can define the changes by getting precise measurements. Scattering techniques depend on natural imperfections occurring in the fiber optic cable. The FBGs have a high signal-to-noise ratio in comparison with scattering techniques.

Both scattering and FBGs use different demodulation techniques. Scattering techniques get the information by observing changes in naturally back-scattering patterns. For FBG based technology, wavelength division multiplexing is the most prevalent demodulation technique. However, in certain circumstances, optical frequency domain reflectometry can become the most useful method.

Wavelength division multiplexing is able to spread to large distances and get the data rapidly. This technology can also support multiple fiber Bragg gratings on a fiber. It observes critical points more than the whole field of the data. That is why it is mostly applied in automobile crash testing as a monitoring instrument.

The scattering techniques can cover long distances and give a distributed profile of the data. They obtain information all over the entire fiber optic cable. Many systems on the market measure temperature or acoustics and are called Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) or Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). These techniques are usually applied in monitoring a pipeline for tampering, for example, where there is no need for high-speed acquisition.

Optical frequency domain reflectometry is another demodulation technique that is mostly applied with FBG sensors where fiber Bragg gratings are placed really close and create a fully distributed sensing fiber. It has many advantages like the combination of high spatial resolution, a bunch of fiber optic sensors, a quick refresh rate, and a full distribution set. Apart from distributed sensing of a strain and temperature, this technology allows defining 2D deflection, liquid level, magnetic fields, etc.

Nowadays, thanks to fiber optic technology, scientists have an opportunity to solve any problems in their designs by using fiber optic systems. And there are still many possibilities for fiber optic technology in the future.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, fbg strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

Distributed Sensing market and its growth forecast

Distributed Sensing market forecastAccording to the researchers, the distributed sensing market is predicted to reach more than $891 million by 2026. The distributed temperature sensing power cables and distributed acoustic sensing systems, as well as global environmental changes, are expected to increase the demand significantly. The modern advancements and developments connected with the light-sized fiber optic systems stimulate globally the distributed sensing market. Moreover, the growth of the distributed sensing market can also be explained by the government’s support for distributed temperature sensing technology.

Nowadays, there are many appliances of distributed sensing systems. There is an extensive need for monitoring continuous temperature changes within big territories and long distances, for example, in the oil sphere. The distributed temperature sensing systems are also applied in subsea areas. Distributed sensing can also help in providing security and productivity in different market sectors in the upcoming years. Moreover, fiber optic solutions are more often applied in fire detection processes.

In April the newly developed fiber optic system got a reward for the innovative approach and commercialization. The fiber optic system expands the coverage of distributed sensors. As a result, this innovation gives new possibilities in many fields such as energy, infrastructure, and environmental sectors. This fiber optic technology allows the collection of more precise data. That could lead to the improvement of sustainability, enhancing operational safety, and getting optimal costs for existing and new applications.

Distributed fiber optic sensors offer sensitivity 100 times greater than the usual ones. The higher sensitivity solves the emerging critical problem and challenges fast. That allows monitoring the situation continuously. This fiber optic technology also provides all the advantages such as carbon capture, improved geothermal systems, and dam integrity monitoring as well as subsea oil and gas wells.

In conclusion, distributed sensing systems are a very promising technology for many sectors. Thanks to the distributed sensors that are extremely sensitive to any slight changes, they can provide the most precise picture in comparison with other modern technologies.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, FBG strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

Distributed fiber optic sensors and their prospects

distributed fiber optic sensorsModern industrial systems are subject to increasingly strict requirements. Structural health monitoring must always work reliably regardless of environmental conditions. Observability and manageability become an important parameter. The operator must be able to detect a problem, including a potential one, determine the location of its occurrence, and respond in a timely manner, taking the necessary measures to reduce time and material costs in emergency situations.

Current fiber optic sensing technologies make it possible to continuously, accurately and in real-time detect small changes in temperature, acoustic background, and deformations in any place of an industrial facility. Fiber optic cables, which are traditionally used in the telecom industry for transmitting information, come to the rescue to perform this. Depending on the type of devices connected to the optical cable, it is possible to detect various environmental events at a long distance (up to several tens of kilometers) performing structural health monitoring. The sensitive medium is the optical fiber and a huge number of “virtual” sensors inside it.

DAS (Distributed Acoustic Sensing) are “virtual” microphones installed along with the optical fiber. Standard single-mode optical fiber and Rayleigh scattering are used when acoustic vibrations cause small changes in the refractive index that are detected using this scattering. The fiber literally “hears” events occurring in the environment. The number of DAS is a combination of spatial resolution, distance, and pulse duration. Modern distributed fiber optic sensors can operate at distances of up to 80 km. Combining several devices into a single network allows for creating thousands of kilometers of structural health monitoring lines.

DTS (Distributed Temperature Sensing) is “virtual” thermometers along with the optical fiber. The distance range for a conventional single-mode fiber is up to 100 km with a spatial resolution of 1 to 5 meters and a measurement accuracy of less than 1 degree Celsius, with a measurement time of 2 to 30 minutes. These parameters are interdependent. For example, the longer the measurement time is, the better the spatial resolution and accuracy of the measurement are, and vice versa. 

Herewith, analytics show that the market for such distributed fiber optic sensors will grow by at least 10% per year in the foreseeable future. These fiber optic systems are most in-demand in North America. In terms of application, the oil and gas industry has the greatest potential. Temperature control prevails by type of monitoring.

Over the past 10 years, fiber optic sensing technology has been used to monitor thousands of kilometers of pipelines, thousands of oil and gas wells, and more. There are numerous fiber optic solutions that allow accelerating the introduction of promising technology in the industry, devices, and fiber optic cables are constantly being improved and become more accurate and affordable.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at