Distributed fiber optic shape sensing along shotcrete tunnel linings: Methodology, field applications, and monitoring results

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deformation monitoring and structural reliability assessment are key components in modern conventional tunneling. The state-of-the-art monitoring design is usually based on displacement measurements of geodetic targets using total stations paired with pointwise geotechnical sensors inside the tunnel lining. In recent years, distributed fiber optic sensing (DFOS) has become more popular in tunneling applications. DFOS measurements basically deliver internal strain and temperature distributions, but no direct relation to the tunnel shape’s behavior. This paper introduces a novel sensing and evaluation concept, which combines DFOS strain measurements and geodetic displacement readings for distributed shape assessment along curved structures, such as tunnel cross-sections. The designed system was implemented into shotcrete tunnel cross-sections as well as shaft linings and enables the determination of displacement profiles with high spatial resolution in the range of centimeters. Evaluations of continuous monitoring campaigns over several weeks as well as epoch-wise measurements performed by different DFOS sensing units in combination with stochastic analysis demonstrate the high potential of the developed approach and its capability to extend traditional monitoring methods in tunneling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-350
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Civil Structural Health Monitoring
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Displacement sensing
  • Distributed fiber optic sensors
  • Field applications
  • Shape sensing
  • Shotcrete tunnel lining
  • Tunneling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Application


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