NHERI@UTexas facility showcases new fiber-optic sensing capabilities

Published on October 29, 2021


The NHERI@UTexas experimental facility, in collaboration with University of California, Berkeley, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) hosted a workshop on Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) for Infrastructure Engineering and Subsurface Imaging.

In a DAS system, the optical fiber cable itself is the sensing element. No Fiber Bragg Grating (a type of optical strain gage) is needed, which drastically reduces the cost of sensing elements. Such a system allows strain signals to be detected over large distances at a lower cost.

More than 250 people from approximately 25 different countries registered for the workshop. Day 1 of the workshop (Thursday, 21 October) was held at the LSU Center for River Studies from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm CST. More than 20 invited speakers from industry, academia, and government covered a wide range of topics and case studies related to DAS.

Day 2 of the workshop (Friday, 22 October) included a field DAS imaging demonstration on the Blackhawk Levee, which is about 2 hours north of Baton Rouge on a section of the Mississippi River.

For details about using the NHERI@Texas DAS system, please contact site operations manager Farnyuh Menq.


The NHERI@UTexas Thumper vehicle was used in the demonstration on Blackhawk Levee, Oct. 22, 2021.