Photonic sensors, signal processors and communication technologies have emerged as viable alternative to electronics. Fiber optic sensors have advanced to an extent that they can be readily made use of in many applications. The different types of fiber optic sensors, components used in optical fiber sensing, sensor design and analysis, distributed\ multiplexed sensor schemes and the role of integrated optics are highlighted. With the advent of lasers and semiconductor optoelectronics, a great revolution in modern optics took place. Rapid developments in fiber optics gave an additional impetus to this. Holography and Fourier Optics are well known photonic techniques. The above developments have led to the birth of a new discipline, popularly called Photonics. In photonics, photons play a role akin to electrons in electronic materials, devices and circuits. As a result, a large number of activities which were traditionally in the electronic domain are now shifting to the realm of photonic. To mention a few, progress in the use of photonics in sensing, signal processing, communication and computing has been rapid. The main advantages are in terms of speed and security. It is also well known that in addition to the high-tech and scientific activity, a whole range of mass items like compact discs, photo copiers and laser printers have been the result of photonic technologies. Gigabit transmission networks and information super highways are currently pushing the society to greater heights. Processing and computing using massively parallel architectures are on the verge of success. A wide range of fiber optic sensors are fast reaching the market place. Freedom from electromagnetic interference and unprecedented speed and bandwidth are prime reasons for all the success in photonics. Impressive though the developments in photonics till date is, it is yet to reach its full potential especially in terms of the market exploitation. One of the exciting fields where in photonics is expected to play a significant role in smart structures and intelligent systems of interest in engineering. This is where the real challenge lies even in the case of fiber optic sensors and photonic communication and control schemes.