The objective of this work is to develop a system for monitoring the structural integrity of composite airframe structures by strain mapping over the entire lifecycle of the structure. Specifically, we use fiber Bragg grating sensors to measure strain in a pressure bulkhead made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) through a sequence of lifecycle stages (molding, machining, assembly, operation and maintenance) and detect the damage, defects, and deformation that occurs at each stage from the obtained strain distributions. In previous work, we have evaluated strain monitoring at each step in the FRP molding and machining stages of the lifecycle. In the work reported here, we evaluate the monitoring of the changes in strain that occur at the time of bolt fastening during assembly. The results show that the FBG sensors can detect the changes in strain that occur when a load is applied to the structure during correction of thermal deformation or when there is an offset in the hole position when structures are bolted together. We also conducted experiments to evaluate the detection of damage and deformation modes that occur in the pressure bulkhead during operation. Those results show that the FBG sensors detect the characteristic changes in strain for each mode.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.