Concrete Pavement Monitoring with PPP-BOTDA Distributed Strain and Crack Sensors


In this study, the feasibility of using telecommunication single-mode optical fiber (SMF) as a distributed fiber optic strain and crack sensor was evaluated in concrete pavement monitoring. Tensile tests on various sensors indicated that the SMF-28e+ fiber revealed linear elastic behavior to rupture at approximately 26 N load and 2.6% strain. Six full-scale concrete panels were prepared and tested under truck and three-point loads to quantify the performance of sensors with pulse pre-pump Brillouin optical time domain analysis (PPP-BOTDA). The sensors were protected by precast mortar from brutal action during concrete casting. Once air-cured for 2 hours after initial setting, half a mortar cylinder of 12 mm in diameter ensured that the protected sensors remained functional during and after concrete casting. The strains measured from PPP-BOTDA with a sensitivity coefficient of 5.43x10-5 GHz/με were validated locally by commercial fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors. Unlike the point FBG sensors, the distributed PPP-BOTDA sensors can be utilized to effectively locate multiple cracks. Depending on their layout, the distributed sensors can provide one- or two-dimensional strain fields in pavement panels. The width of both micro and major cracks can be linearly related to the peak strain directly measured with the distributed fiber optic sensor.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Concrete Pavement; Crack Detection; Distributed Fiber Optic Sensor; PPP-BOTDA; Strain Distribution

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2016 Techno Press, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2016