Document Type

Journal Article


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.


Centre for Communications and Electronics Research / School of Engineering




This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of:

Allwood, G., Wild, G., & Hinckley, S. (2016). Optical fiber sensors in physical intrusion detection systems: A review. IEEE Sensors Journal, 16(14), 5497-5509. 10.1109/JSEN.2016.2535465


Fiber optic sensors have become a mainstream sensing technology within a large array of applications due to their inherent benefits. They are now used significantly in structural health monitoring, and are an essential solution for monitoring harsh environments. Since their first development over 30 years ago, they have also found promise in security applications. This paper reviews all of the optical fiber-based techniques used in physical intrusion detection systems. It details the different approaches used for sensing, interrogation, and networking, by research groups, attempting to secure both commercial and residential premises from physical security breaches. The advantages and the disadvantages of the systems are discussed, and each of the different perimeter protection methods is outlined, namely, in-ground, perimeter fence, and window and door protection. This paper reviews the progress in optical fiber-based intrusion detection techniques from the past through to the current state-of-the-art systems and identifies areas, which may provide opportunities for improvement, as well as proposing future directions in this field.