Frequently asked questions



Who is OSMOS Canada?

OSMOS Canada a été créé en 2008. Son siège social est situé à Montréal. Il fait partie du réseau mondial Groupe OSMOS, présent dans une vingtaine de pays.

What are the services which OSMOS Canada supplies?

OSMOS offers the whole range of surveillance engineering services, if necessary, in partnership with other recognised and well-known players.

What does OSMOS stand for?

OSMOS stands for “Optical Strand Monitoring System”, that is, a system which monitors using optical strands.

What are OSMOS Canada’s references?

OSMOS has installed numerous systems throughout the world: over 500 in 17 countries (USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, France, the UK, Denmark, Spain, Monaco, Russia, Japan, China, South Korea and Australia)

OMOS has installed its systems on the most diversified structures: including bridges, geotechnical structures, historic buildings, railway-related structures, hydraulic structures, industrial structures, real estate and public buildings.

Owing to the fact that they are robust and long-lasting, the oldest systems are still in situ: in France, the Eiffel Tower (13 years old), Stade de France football stadium (10 years), and many others installed over 8 years ago.

The most prestigious include the following: in France: the Eiffel Tower, Napoleon’s tomb (in the Invalides museum), the Louvre and in many cathedrals; France-UK: the Eurotunnel; in the US: the Ground Zero Area in New York.

Au Canada: Pont Champlain, Viaduc Henri-Bourassa, Viaduc Frontenac, Pont Coaticook et stations du métro de Montréal


What are the main advantages of the OSMOS Canada system?

OSMOS Canada sensors are able to measure deformations over long distances (but not only), within a precision in the order of one micron. These measurements are reliable over years. They are particularly suited to the long-term static and dynamic surveillance of civil engineering structures. OSMOS sensors are operational immediately, and in the most difficult environments. Users can manage them after only a short course, since special qualifications in optics are not required.

The OSMOS Canada system is the only one of its kind in which parameters are tracked in relation to the order in which problems affect the structure: firstly, defects which are early warning signs and thus critical, since they affect the stability of the structure; secondly, those which are marginally less important and arise as a result of the first.

Consequently, the OSMOS system has been designed to use different types of sensors:

  • Firstly, sensors which pick up primary defects: OSMOS sensors;
  • Secondly, sensors which find the effects of the primary defects, such as inclinometers (tilt sensor) and accelerometers;
  • Lastly, sensors which identify causes: temperature sensors, anemometers, piezometers (small diameter water wells).

Do the OSMOS Canada system and its sensors have certification?

Independent laboratories in France, Germany, Belgium and Japan have tested the performances of OSMOS systems. OSMOS produces all its systems under the strictest conditions in terms of quality control


Is there any other company which produces OSMOS Canada sensors?

No, OSMOS is the only producer in the world of the OSMOS monitoring system.

What is the difference in price between an OSMOS Canada monitoring system and a traditional monitoring system?

The price of OSMOS sensors and the monitoring station is similar to that of traditional, equivalent sensors. Moreover, taking into consideration the fact that the system is easy to install and has a long useful life, the OSMOS system competes very favourably with traditional systems, as well as giving better results.

What is the maximum distance between OSMOS Canada sensors and the monitoring station?

It may be up to 4 km without the use of amplifiers or signal conditioning units.

On which kind of surface is it possible to install OSMOS Canada sensors? How?

OSMOS Canada sensors can be installed on or in all kinds of building materials: such as concrete, metal, wood, masonry, mortar and rocks. The anchor points at the ends of the sensors can be attached to the building structure by being screwed in to it, bolted in, stuck on, or by any other mechanical attachment method.


Can OSMOS Canada sensors be used outside long-term?

Yes. The OSMOS Canada system is extremely robust and reliable in the long-term. For long-term use, it is easy to protect OSMOS sensors against natural elements, such as ultra violet rays, birds and rodents, as well as against mechanical attacks of all kinds, through simple and traditional methods, such as surrounding them by casings.

Can I install OSMOS Canada sensors in concrete?

Optical Strands in flexible steel hoses are designed so that they can be cast in concrete, mortar or any other type of matter which can be shaped.


How long is the useful life of sensors installed in concrete?

Experience has shown that Optical Strands which are correctly installed in concrete stand up well to the casting process.

Can OSMOS Canada sensors be reused?

Sensors installed on the surface of building structures can be used many times again. Sensors cast in concrete cannot be reused.

Can OSMOS Canada sensors be repaired?

If the damage to the optical sensor was on the connection cable, it can be repaired merely by optical soldering on site. But, if the damage is to a sensitive part of the sensor, it would be advisable to replace it.

How long is the expected useful life of OSMOS Canada sensors?

On the basis of experiments which accelerate ageing, the results of which were extrapolated to our actual experience, we believe that OSMOS sensors have a very long useful life. We consider that 90% of the sensors which work after they have been installed will last for at least 20 years, without necessitating heavy maintenance.

Can OSMOS Canada sensors be used in load trials?

Yes, the OSMOS Canada group supplies the most reliable and most precise method of guaranteeing that the real bearing capacity of a support area corresponds to that required by the regulations.


Can OSMOS Canada sensors be used for monitoring bridges?

OSMOS Canada sensors have been designed for monitoring bridges. Depending on the type of information required, they allow for the collection of the parameters for immediate use: the level of safety at all times, extension of the useful life of the bridge, optimisation of the maintenance.

Such parameters may consist of the maximum deflection at mid-span, shear stressstrain, compression stress in support pillars, rotation at the extremities of supporting beams, monitoring traffic, determining its natural frequency, static/dynamic measurements rations.


Are OSMOS Canada sensors suitable for monitoring around railway tracks?

Yes, the OSMOS system is particularly highly recommended for the premature detection of the subsidence which may occur underneath railway tracks.


Are OSMOS Canada sensors suitable for monitoring historic buildings?

The system is totally suitable, owing to the following properties:

  • Embedded with the aim of being used for years, it is long-lasting.
  • It is safe: no electric current is involved, therefore there is no risk of sparks.
  • It is discreet: the general public is highly unlikely to see the sensors.
  • The fact that there is a long-measurement range makes it possible to bridge over local conditions, situations and circumstances and to ensure that measurements are reliable, even on varying construction materials (e.g. masonry).

monuments historiques

Are OSMOS Canada sensors suitable for monitoring traditional buildings?

Yes, owing to its very wide range of products and prices, the OSMOS Canada system can be used to monitor all types of buildings from skyscrapers to small houses.


Are OSMOS Canada sensors suitable for monitoring in major building projects?

OSMOS Canada has developed and perfected an automated monitoring system for clients who are in charge of overseeing large building works on a regular basis.