Health monitoring of a full composite CNG tanks using long-gage fiber optic sensors

Branko Glisic, Daniele Inaudi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) used as a carburant in automotive industry offers low cost and notably less pollution. Full composite tank used to store the CNG onboard features low weight and extended lifespan. However, the safety issues and maintenance fees remain a challenge for its use in ordinary cars. The structural health monitoring of tanks with accent to damage detection can significantly increase the safety and decrease the maintenance fees. Structural health monitoring and damage detection of composite tanks impose important challenges to the monitoring strategy and monitoring system to be used. The issues of non-intrusive installation of sensors, their topologies and network, and particularly analysis and interpretation of resulting data are very complex. The long-gage interferometric sensors of SOFO type, for direct embedding in the full composite tank during production are developed. The sensor consists of single mode optical fiber embedded into the very thin composite tape. Such packaging offers to optical fiber excellent protection during handling and embedding and makes sensor non-intrusive to the tank material. Appropriate topologies of the sensors are combined in single sensor network used to monitor strain state and damage. The results of monitoring are analyzed at several levels, and the damage is detected using algorithms combining the global deformation and changes in both the tank stiffness and sensors cross-correlation. The monitoring strategy, sensors used in full composite tank monitoring, installation issues and the results of the structural health monitoring performed in laboratory are presented in details in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventSmart Structures and Materials 2004 - Smart Sensor Technology and Measurement Systems - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 15 2004Mar 17 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Compressed natural gas
  • Damage detection
  • Full composite tanks
  • Health monitoring
  • Long-gage fiber optic sensors


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