Qualification of distributed optical fiber sensors using probability of detection curves for delamination in composite laminates

Francesco Falcetelli*, Demetrio Cristiani, Nan Yue, Claudio Sbarufatti, Enrico Troiani, Raffaella Di Sante, Dimitrios Zarouchas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the promising application of Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors (DOFS) in monitoring damage in composite structures, their implementation outside academia is still unsatisfactory due to the lack of a systematic approach to assessing their damage detection performance. The existing tool developed for non-destructive evaluation, Probability of Detection (POD) curves, needs to be adapted for structural health monitoring applications to account for spatial and temporal dependency. Damage detection performance with DOFS is deeply related to the inherent variability sources of the system, the strain transfer properties of the optical fiber, and the loading conditions, which determine the damage-induced strain on the structure. This paper establishes a systematic approach based on the Length at Detection (LaD) method to qualify DOFS for damage detection in composites under different scenarios. Specifically, this study considers two DOFS with different strain transfer properties for monitoring delamination in carbon fiber reinforced polymers double-cantilever beam specimens under mode I quasi-static and fatigue loading. The POD curves derived from the LaD method confirm that this methodology can quantify the change in the detection performance due to the DOFS type and the loading conditions. The study also proposes a practical solution to compare POD curves obtained with different sample sizes, by introducing the concept of virtual specimens to simulate the lower confidence bound convergence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2972-2986
Number of pages15
JournalStructural Health Monitoring
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • carbon fiber reinforced polymers
  • delamination
  • distributed optical fiber sensors
  • double-cantilever beam specimens
  • Probability of detection
  • reliability
  • structural health monitoring


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