A distributed optical fiber monitoring system constitutes a cutting edge solution with regard to the structural monitoring of bridges .
With a single optical fiber glued along the structure to be monitored, such a system can provide a continuous long-term SHM, able to perform the best early warning on the market today.

The analyses of the longitudinal strain profile allows to:

• detect the formation of any tensile cracks along the bridge;

• monitor load distribution along the bridge;

• monitor local stress and strain in the hot spots; 

• monitor joint displacement;

• monitor bridge dynamic properties;

• monitor structural properties related to the temperature of the bridge.

The use of distributed sensors permits to obtain the strain at each location of the investigated bridge during its whole life time, giving the opportunity to predict failure, plan maintenance strategies and hence to increase safety.