Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Sullivan, Rani W.

Committee Member

Lacy, Thomas E.

Committee Member

Ranatunga, Padmasiri Vipul

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Aerospace Engineering


As the use of polymer matrix composites for structures increases, there is a growing need for monitoring these structures. Distributed strain sensing using optical fibers shows promise for monitoring composite structures due to optical fiber's small size, light weight, and ability to obtain continuously distributed strain data. This study investigates the feasibility of using embedded optical fibers using two case studies: embedding the fibers in the adhesive layer of double lap shear composite specimens, and within composite end-notched flexure specimens to locate a growing crack front. To establish a repeatable fabrication methodology, manufacturing techniques for embedding the optical fibers were investigated. The measured strain distribution from the optical fibers compares well with data obtained from finite element analyses for both the double lap shear and end-notch flexure specimens. Additionally, the embedded optical fibers do not seem to impact the failure loads or fracture behavior of the specimens.