Fiber Bragg grating sensors for structural health monitoring of Tsing Ma bridge: Background and experimental observation

T. H.T. Chan, L. Yu, Hwa Yaw Tam, Yiqing Ni, S. Y. Liu, W. H. Chung, L. K. Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

457 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid expansion of the optical fiber telecommunication industry due to the explosion of the Internet has substantially driven down the cost of optical components, making fiber optic sensors more economically viable. In addition, the rapid development of fiber-optic sensors, particularly the fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors offers many advantages and capability that could not be achieved otherwise. In the past few years, fiber Bragg grating sensors have attracted a lot of interest and they are being used in numerous applications. This paper describes the FBG sensors developed for structural health monitoring, and were installed on Hong Kong's landmark Tsing Ma bridge (TMB), which is the world longest (1377 m) suspension bridge that carried both railway and regular road traffic. Forty FBG sensors divided into three arrays were installed on the hanger cable, rocker bearing and truss girders of the TMB. The objectives of the study are to investigate the feasibility of using the developed FBG sensors for structural health monitoring, via monitoring the strain of different parts of the TMB under both the railway and highway loads as well as comparing the FBG sensors' performance with the conventional structural health monitoring system - Wind and Structural Health Monitoring System (WASHMS) that has been operating at TMB since the bridge's commissioning in May 1997. The experimental observations in this project show that the results using FBG sensors were in excellent agreement with those acquired by WASHMS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-659
Number of pages12
JournalEngineering Structures
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2006


  • Fiber Bragg grating (FBG)
  • Strain
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Tsing Ma bridge (TMB)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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