The importance of real-time detection of cable force during stretching construction can hardly be overstated, especially in long-span space cable system. In this paper, a novel approach to monitor the cable structure health using fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors was elaborated and applied in monitoring the tensioning process of suspend-cable dome of Dalian Gymnasium under construction. The encapsulated FBG strain sensors were adhered to the anchor to detect the cable force. Calibration tests conducted prior to leaving factory in order to get the cable force sensitivity coefficient were also presented. The monitoring results of stage stretching construction prove that this cable force monitoring method based on FBG sensors has advantages of easy installation, non-destruction to structure and high precision, showing promising potential in cable structure health monitoring.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.