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Structural health monitoring of tunnels

Tunnel monitoring over long distances to prevent cracks in tunnel lining

Tunnels play a significant role in the movement of people, goods, and services. Therefore their carrying capacity, integrity, stability, and durability are most important in not endangering public transport and traffic safety. With our latest optical fiber technology, it is possible to continuously monitor the tunnel’s structural health and deformation trends, such as lining cracking, dislocation, falling blocks, etc. in real time 24/7.

  • remote monitoring of tunnel’s mechanical behavior under environmental effects and traffic loads
  • assessment and prediction of tunnel’s health condition
  • online and real-time information about the tunnel

During the construction and operation, tunnels are affected by various factors, such as geology, design and climate conditions. In addition, tunnel materials themselves become old, and maintenance is not always timely. In use, defects, such as tunnel lining cracking, dislocation, falling blocks, etc. can occur, and these can endanger traffic safety and even force the closure of traffic. In these cases, the structural health monitoring systems for industrial inspection find their uses. 

The primary function of the tunnel’s structural health monitoring is to ensure its safety and to plan, predict and optimize maintenance activities. It provides valuable information regarding imminent tunnel collapse, thus, allowing for the fastest tunnel construction speed making it possible to control the tunnel stability by providing proper countermeasures.

Quantifying tunnel performance requires a distributed network of FBG structural health monitoring sensors. In combination with appropriate topologies and networks, they can provide the necessary information for assessing a wide range of parameters relevant to the tunnel’s structural behavior. Such a system enables data-driven decisions resulting in significant operational expense savings and increased tunnel safety.

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