Abstract

The spatial resolution of conventional distributed fiber optic sensors is 1 m at best, which is inadequate to locate the damage precisely. We adopt an improved sensing technique based on the Brillouin optical time-domain analysis (BOTDA). The stepped pump light is input to stimulate the phonon so that the spatial resolution can be increased to centimeter order and the strain accuracy of 25 micro-strains is obtained. The feasibility of this sensing technique is demonstrated through strain measurement of three concrete box-girders in bending. Experimental results show that the improved BOTDA measurement can provide a comprehensive description on the strain distribution of steel rebar or concrete. Compared with the conventional strain gauges, the improved BOTDA measurement is more stable. By virtue of higher spatial resolution and better measurement accuracy, it has become possible to perform crack detection and localization for concrete structures.

© 2009 Chinese Optics Letters

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