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A distributed fiber optic sensor array developed for use in vacuum resin transfer molding systems is described. The sensor is placed in the mold and can be used to monitor resin infiltration even in complicated parts because of its small size and flexibility. The sensor components themselves are low cost and become incorporated in the part during the molding process. Careful design of the sensor elements is necessary to avoid sensitivity to mechanical stresses associated with the resin infiltration process. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.