Structural safety of drilling rigs is a matter of major concern for operators. In spite of best industry practices a number of mishaps occur, sometimes taking heavy toll on investments and human lives. At times marine environment is also endangered due to accidents on offshore rigs. The paper presents a system design for altogether a new class of online monitoring system based on optical fibre technology for total rig structure providing ample opportunity to take pre-emptive action for averting mishaps arising due to metal fatigue and excessive overloading. The system will be very useful in the inspection and testing of new rigs. The system finds application in periodic preventive and corrective maintenance and would reduce the inspection time and expenditure. Such a system gains more importance on account of emerging trends in "re-qualification" of offshore drilling rigs.

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