Design and field testing of a fiber optic pressure sensor for underground water level monitoring

Luca Schenatoa, Juan Aguilar Lopez, Andrea Galtarossa, Alessandro Pasutoa, Thom Bogaard, Luca Palmieri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)


We present the design and field test of a rugged FBG sensor prototype for high-sensitivity measurement of underground water level. Pressure sensors have many fields of application, ranging from environmental monitoring to the oil and gas industry. In particular, pressure sensors can be used to monitor the stability of dikes and embankments by measuring the inner phreatic level at their foot to detect anomalous filtration and excess of pore pressures. For this application, rather high sensitivity at an affordable cost is required. Fiber optic pressure sensors have been explored with different solutions, but the technologies proposed so far have either small sensitivity, and hence are befitted for large pressure ranges, or are based on interferometry, and hence require rather expensive laser sources. The sensor described in this paper exploits a 3D-printed mechanical transducer to convert external pressure in longitudinal strain along the fiber. A second FBG, embedded in the sensor, is used to compensate for temperature cross-sensitivity. The structure is enclosed in an aluminum alloy case to withstand harsh environments and installation procedures. Pressure and temperature sensitivities of the sensor are about 20 pm/cm H2O and 17 pm/°C respectively. Three sensors of this kind have been successfully tested in a large scale dike at the Flood Proof Holland facility, in Delft, Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSeventh European Workshop on Optical Fibre Sensors
EditorsKyriacos Kalli, Gilberto Brambilla, Sinead O'Keeffe
Place of PublicationUnited States of America
Pages111990J-1 - 111990J-4
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781510631243
ISBN (Print)9781510631236
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventSeventh European Workshop on Optical Fibre Sensors - Limassol, Cyprus
Duration: 1 Oct 20194 Oct 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSeventh European Workshop on Optical Fibre Sensors
Abbreviated titleEWOFS 2019
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • 3D printing
  • Bragg gratings
  • Fiber optic sensor
  • Groundwater level variations
  • Pressure

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