Distributed fiber optic sensors

Fiber optic sensors are ideal for monitoring critical infrastructure or facilities. These sensors are small and low cost, are immune to electromagnetic interference, are ideal for building very large monitoring networks and are mechanically and chemically compatible with most of building materials. However, the fiber sensors commonly used allow a punctual measurement of the parameters of interest and this is a difficulty when it is desired to obtain a high resolution over long distances. This limitation can be overcome through the use of distributed sensors and to this end the research carried out by researchers at IREA has enabled to develop new configurations of distributed sensors based on stimulated Brillouin scattering, which allows to measure temperature and / or deformations of large structures with high resolution. In this context, IREA researchers have a position of national leadership and excellence at European level. The results of the research activities , in fact, led to the filing of two patents (RM 2006 and RM 2008 A A 000 302 000 626) of which the first under extension in the United States and Europe.

Additional Info

Monitoring of large civil infrastructures
Monitoring of pipes
Monitoring of geothermal and volcanic areas

    Design and simulation of guides and optical devices

    A. Zornoza, A. Minardo, R. Bernini et al., “Pulsing the Probe Wave to Reduce Nonlocal Effects in Brillouin Optical Time-Domain Analysis (BOTDA) Sensors” IEEE Sensors J. vol.11, pp.1067-1068, 2011

    R. Bernini, A. Minardo, G. Testa and L. Zeni, “Dynamic strain measurements on a cantilever beam using stimulated Brillouin scattering”, Journal of Smart Materials and Structures, vol.19, no. 4, 19 045024, 2010.

    A.Minardo, G. Testa, L. Zeni, R. Bernini, "Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Brillouin Scattering in Single-Mode Optical Fiber Excited by an Intensity- and Phase-Modulated Pump", Journal of Lightwave Technology, vol. 28, no.2, pp.193–200, 2010.

    L. Olivares, E. Damiano, R. Greco, L. Zeni, L. Picarelli, A. Minardo, A Guida, R Bernini, “An Instrumented Flume to Investigate the Mechanics of Rainfall-Induced Landslides in Unsaturated Granular Soils”, Geotechnical Testing Journal, vol. 32, no. 2, pp.108-118, 2009.

    A Minardo, R Bernini, and L Zeni “A simple technique for reducing pump depletion in long-range distributed Brillouin fiber sensors”, IEEE Sensors Journal, vol.9, no.6, pp.633-634, 2009.

    R. Bernini, A. Minardo, L. Zeni, "Dynamic strain measurement in optical fibers by stimulated Brillouin scattering", Optics Letters, vol.34, no.17, pp.2613-2615, 2009.

    A Minardo, R Bernini, and L Zeni “Brillouin optical frequency-domain single-ended distributed fiber sensor”, IEEE Sensors Journal, vol.9, no.3, pp.221-222, 2009.

    A. Minardo, R. Bernini, W. Urbanczyk, Jan Wojcik, N. Gorbatov, M. Tur, L. Zeni, “Stimulated Brillouin scattering in highly-birefringent microstructure fiber: experimental analysis”, Optics Letters, vol.33, no.20, pp.2329-2331, 2008.

    R Bernini, A Minardo, and L Zeni, “Vectorial dislocation monitoring of pipelines by use of Brillouin-based fiber-optics sensors”, Journal of Smart Materials and Structures, vol.17, no.1, 015006 (8pp.), 2008.

    A. Minardo, R. Bernini, and L. Zeni “ Stimulated Brillouin scattering modeling for high-resolution, time-domain distributed sensing”, Optics Express, vol.15, no.16, pp.10397-10407, 2007.

    R. Bernini, A. Minardo, G.V. Persiano, A.Vaccaro, D.Villacci, L.Zeni: ”Dynamic Loading of Overhead Lines by Adaptive Learning Techniques and Distributed Temperature Sensing” IET Generation Transmission and Distribution, vol.1, no.6, pp. 912-919, 2007.

    R. Bernini, A. Minardo, L. Zeni, “Self-demodulated Heterodyne Frequency Domain Distributed Brillouin Fiber Sensor”, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, vol.19, pp.447-449, 2007.

    R. Bernini, A. Minardo, L. Zeni “Accurate high-resolution fiber-optic distributed strain measurements for structural health monitoring”, Sensors and Actuators A, vol.134, pp.389-395, 2007.

    A. Minardo, R. Bernini, and L. Zeni “Low distortion Brillouin slow light in optical fibers using AM modulation”, Optics Express, vol. 14, no.13, pp.5866-5976, 2006.

    R. Bernini, M. Fraldi, A. Minardo, V. Minutolo, F. Carannante, L. Nunziante, L. Zeni, “Identification of Defects and Strain Error Estimation in Bending Steel Beams Through Time-Domain Brillouin Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors”, Journal of Smart Materials and Structures, vol.15, pp.612–622, 2006.

    R. Bernini, A. Minardo, L. Zeni, “An accurate high resolution technique for distributed sensing based on frequency domain Brillouin scattering”, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, vol.8, no.1, pp.280-282, 2006.


      2009-2012: Integrated System for Transport Infrastructures surveillance and Monitoring by Electromagnetic Sensing - ISTIMES (FP7 Collaborative Project)

      2010: Clean-Sky FOSAS (FP7 Collaborative Project)


      2007-2012: “Intesa Operativa tra la Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri – Protezione Civile e l’Istituto per il Rilevamento Elettromagnetico dell’Ambiente IREA”

      “MODIS – Diagnostica e monitoraggio di strutture civili e reti di trasporto e di servizio mediante sensori distribuiti in fibra ottica integrabili con le reti di telecomunicazioni”, Regione Campania Azione POR Campania 2000/2006 Misura 3.17.



      Seconda Università di Napoli


      Prototype of deformation / temperature optical fiber detector for distributed monitoring on a large scale