We describe the results of a study of the performance characteristics of a monolithic fiber-optic shape sensor array. Distributed strain measurements in a multi-core optical fiber interrogated with the optical frequency domain reflectometry technique are used to deduce the shape of the optical fiber; referencing to a coordinate system yields position information. Two sensing techniques are discussed herein: the first employing fiber Bragg gratings and the second employing the intrinsic Rayleigh backscatter of the optical fiber. We have measured shape and position under a variety of circumstances and report the accuracy and precision of these measurements. A discussion of error sources is included.© (2007) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.