Study on BOTDR-based Distributed Optical Fiber Strain Measurement for Geo-linear Engineering Monitoring

SHI, B.; SUI, HB.; LIU,J.; Zhang D., Zhang, W.& Gao, J.Q.
Center for Engineering Monitoring with Opto-Electronic Sensing (CEMOES), Dept. of Earth Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China

The Brilliouin Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (BOTDR) is a newly developed innovative measure technique, which utilizes Brilliouin spectroscopy and Optical Time Domain Reflectometry to measure the strain and temperature difference generated in optical fibers as distributed in the longitudinal direction. Because of the BOTDR’s distinctive characters, it has been paid more and more attention and began to be applied in monitoring system of various geotechnical engineerings such as tunnel, road embankment and landslide engineering. In this paper, the geo-linear engineering monitoring characteristics and requirements are presented and the operation principle and merits of BOTDR are introduced; Using authors’ research achievements and application cases, its application feasibility for the geo-linear engineering monitoring are analyzed. The research results indicate that the BOTDR-based distributed optical fiber strain/temperature measuring technique is quite applicable to the geolinear engineering monitoring.

geo-linear engineering, BOTDR, distributed optical fiber strain measurement, engineering monitoring, feasibility analysis


  1. Bao, X., DeMerchant, M., Brown, A. & Bremner, T. 2001. Tensile and compressive strain measurement in the lab and field with the distributed Brillouin scattering sensor. J. Lightwave Technol. 19(1):698–704.
  2. Haruyoshi, U., Yasushi, S. & Zhi, X., LI 1997. AQ8602 Optical Fiber Strain/Loss Analyzer. Ando Technical Journal.
  3. Liu, X. Y. & Zheng, Y. R. 1999. Fiber  optics detection technology and the key problems of  its application in   Geotechnical engineering, Chinese Journal of Rock Mechanics and Engineering 18(5): 585-587.
  4. Ohno, H., Naruse, H., Kihara, M. & Shimada, 2001. A Invited paper Industrial applications of the BOTDR optical fiber strain sensor. Optical Fiber Technology 7 (1): 45-64.
  5. Wu, Z. S., Takahashi, T., Kino, H., & Hiramatsu, K. 2000. Crack Measurement of Concrete Structures with Optic Fiber Sensing, Proceedings of the Japan Concrete Institute, 22(1): 409-414.
  6. Yang, J. L., Zhihai Liang, Yijun Ju, Jian & Yuan, L. B. 2000. Internal Strain for concrete specimens by fiber optical sensor and result analysis. Journal of Experimental  Mechanics 15(4): 421-428.
  7. Uchiyama H, Sakairi Y, Nozaki T, 2002. An Optical Fiber Strain Distribution Measurement Instrument Using the New Detection Method. ANDO Technical Bulletin, 10: 52~60. 
  8. Shi B., Xu H.Z., Zhang D., Ding Y., Cui H.L. & Gao J.Q., 2004. Feasibility study on application of BOTDR to health monitoring for large infrastructure engineering, Chinese Journal of Rock Mechanics and Engineering, 23(3): 493-499.
  9. Shi B., Xu H.Z., Chen B., Zhang D., Ding Y., Cui H.L. & Gao J.Q., 2003a. A feasibility study on the application of fiber-optic distributed sensors for strain measurement in the Taiwan Strait Tunnel project, MARINE GEORESOURCES & GEOTECHNOLOGY, JUL-DEC, 21 (3-4): 333-343.
  10. Shi B., Xu H.Z., Zhang D., Ding Y., Cui H.L., Gao J.Q. & Chen B., 2003b. A Study on BOTDR application in monitoring deformation of a tunnel, First International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring and Intelligent Infrastructure, Japan, Nov. 1025-1030.
  11. SHI Bin,XU Xue-jun,WANG Di,WANG Ting,ZHANG Dan,DING Yong,XU Hong-zhong,CUI He-liang, 2005, Study on BOTDR-based distributed optical fiber strain measurement for tunnel health diagnosis, Chinese Journal of Rock Mechanics and Engineering, (in press)
  12. GAO Jun-qi, SHI Bin, ZHANG Wei, KE Min-yong, LIU Hai-xiang, Zhang Dan, 2005,  Application of distributed fiber optic sensorto bridge and pavement health monitoring,  Journal of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Engineering, Vol. 25, No.1, pp14-19
  13. DING Yong, SHI Bin, CUI He-liang, SUOI Wen-bin, LIU Jie,  2005,  A fiber optic sensing net applied in slope monitoring based on Brillouin scattering, Chinese Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol.27, No.3, pp338-342
  14. CUI He-liang, SHI Bin, XU Hong-zhong, ZHANG Dan, DING Yong, 2004, BOTDR optic fiber temperature monitoring technique and its application in civil engineering, Journal of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Engineering,, Vol. 24, No.3, pp252-255
  15. Zhang Dan, Shi Bin, Xu Hongzhong, Gao Junqi, Zhu Hong, 2004, Experimental study on the deformation monitoring of reinforced concrete T beam using BOTDR, Vol.34, No.4, pp480-484
  16. Zhang D., Shi B., Cui H.L. & .Xu H.Z 2004, Improvement of spatial resolution of Brillouin optical time domain reflectometer using spectral decomposition, Optica Applicata, Vol. XXXIV, No.2, pp291-301.
  17. Xu H.Z.; Shi B., Zhang D., Ding Y., Cui H.L., Wu Z.S. 2003. Signal processing of the fiber optic BOTDR sensor based on wavelet analysis, Journal of Optoelectronics Laser, 14(7): 737-740
  18. Zhang Dan, Shi Bin, Wu Zhishen,  Xu Hongzhong, Ding Yong, Cui Heliang, 2003,Distributed optical fiber sensor based on BOTDR and its application to structural health monitoring, China Civil Engineering Journal, 36(11):83-87
  19. Dan Zhang, Bin Shi, Hongzhong Xu, Yong Ding, Heliang Cui & Junqi Gao, Application of BOTDR into structural bending monitoring, Structural Health Monitoring and Intelligent Infrastructure, A.A.Balkema Publishers, 2003: 271-276
  20. Ding, Y., Shi, B., Cui, H.L., Gao, J.Q., & Chen, B.,The stability of optical fiber as strain sensor under invariable stress, Structural Health Monitoring and Intelligent Infrastructure, A.A.Balkema Publishers, 2003: 267-270
  21. Zhang Dan, Shi Bin, Xu Hongzhong, The BOTDR-based strain monitoring for tunnel , 2004, Journal of Engineering Geology, 12(4):422-426