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Civionics

Civionics is a new term coined from Civil-Electronics, which is derived from the application of electronics to civil structures. It is similar to the term Avionics, which is used in the aerospace industry. For structural health monitoring to become part of civil structural engineering, it should include Civionics.

As the design and construction of civil structures continue to evolve, it is imperative that these structures be monitored for their health. In order to meet this need, the discipline of Civionics has emerged. It involves the application of electronics to civil structures and aims to assist engineers in realizing the full benefits of structural health monitoring (SHM). The goal of Civionics is to ensure the installation and operation of fibre optic sensors (FOS) is successful.

By creating a standard procedure for SHM, several ambiguities are eliminated such as the technical requirements for fibre sensors. As a result, it is expected that these specifications will help ensure that the sensors will survive the installation process and eventually prove their value over years of monitoring the health of the structure. The Civionics FOS specifications include the requirements for fibre sensors, including Bragg gratings, long gauge and Fabry-Perot sensors, and their corresponding readout units. It also includes specifications on the cables, conduits, junction boxes, cable termination and environmental protection.

Civionics combined with SHM will provide engineers with feedback necessary to aid in optimizing design techniques and understanding infrastructure performance, behaviour and state of condition.