Fiber-optic sensors were installed on fatigue-critical components in the superstructure of a railroad bridge to monitor dynamic strains induced by trains crossing the bridge as well as to detect the onset of cracks. Each fiber Fabry–Perot interferometer (FFPI) strain gage was adhesively bonded to a stainless-steel strip to facilitate all-weather installation on the steel bridge members by spot welding. FFPI strain sensors were also installed on a rail at an approach to the bridge. Electrical resistive strain gages were colocated with the fiber-optic sensors on the bridge for the purpose of performance verification. In addition to the strain gages, fiber-optic continuity sensors for crack detection were bonded to the structure at critical locations. A telemetry system for transmitting the data over telephone lines was also installed at the bridge site. Dynamic response of the fiber-optic strain sensors is comparable with that of the electrical gages, and their performance has not degraded in the year since the initial installation.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(060.0060) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics and optical communications
(060.2370) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics sensors
(120.2230) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Fabry-Perot
Wanku Lee, Jongseo Lee, Craig Henderson, Henry F. Taylor, Ray James, Chung E. Lee, Victor Swenson, Robert A. Atkins, and William G. Gemeiner, "Railroad Bridge Instrumentation with Fiber-Optic Sensors," Appl. Opt. 38, 1110-1114 (1999)