Optical fiber sensors are rapidly emerging as viable alternatives to piezoelectric devices as effective means of detecting and quantifying acoustic emission (AE). Compared to traditional piezoelectric-based sensors, optical fiber sensors offer much smaller size, reduced weight, ability to operate at temperatures up to 2000 degree(s)C, immunity to electromagnetic interference, resistance to corrosive environments, inherent safety within flammable environments, and the ability to multiplex multiple sensors on a single fiber. The authors have investigated low-profile fiber optic-based AE sensors for non-destructive evaluation (NDE) systems. In particular, broadband and resonant type optical fiber sensors were developed for monitoring acoustic emission for NDE of pressurized composite vessels and commercial airframe structures. The authors developed an in-plane, broadband sensor design based on optical strain gage technology. In addition, an out-of-plane, resonant sensor was developed using micromachining techniques. The sensors have been evaluated for performance using swept frequency and impulse excitation techniques and compared to conventional piezoelectric transducers. Further, application experiments were conducted using these sensors on both aluminum lap-joints and composite fracture coupons, with collocated piezoelectric transducers. The results indicate that optical fiber AE sensors can be used as transducers sensitive to acoustic events and the indication of imminent failure of a structure, making these sensors useful in many applications where conventional piezoelectric transducers are not well suited.