This paper describes the use of a fiber optic system to measure strain at thousands of locations along optical fibers where weakly reflecting Bragg gratings have been photoetched. The optical fibers were applied to an advanced composite transport wing long with conventional foil strain gages. A comparison of the fiber optic and foil gage systems used for this test will be presented including: a brief description of both strain data systems; a discussion of the process used for installation of the optical fiber; comparative data from the composite wing test; the processes used for the location and display of the high density fiber optic data. Calibration data demonstrating the potential accuracy of the fiber optic system will also be presented. The opportunities for industrial and commercial applications will be discussed. The fiber optic technique is shown to be a valuable augmentation to foil strain gages providing insight to structural behavior previously requiring reliance on modeling.© (2001) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.