Fiber optic sensor technology is explained in terms of theory and applications. Various components common to all fiber optic sensors are compared. Two classes of sensing devices are emphasized: amplitude-modu-lated sensors and phase-modulated sensors. Specific examples of amplitude-modulated devices-one a pressure sensor using an optical reflection technique and another an accelerometer using a microbend technique-are described. Four types of fiber optic interferometers used in phase-modulated sensors are discussed. The effect of the optical fiber jacket on the sensitivity of phase-modulated sensors is considered. A miniature pressure sensor and a highly sensitive fiber optic accelerometer, both employing phase modula-tion, are described.