An optics-based strain sensing system is being developed for quazi-distributed strain sensing in locations and environments that are not accessible to conventional strain sensors. The system comprises an Optical Interrogator that has been designed and constructed by Southern Photonics , and optical fibre coupled Bragg grating strain sensors. It has been tested using commercial fibre Bragg gratings  that were attached to 2 samples of 316 grade stainless steel and cycled in strain and temperature using an Instron mechanical testing machine and temperature controlled cabinet. The results have been compared to the performance of conventional electrical resistance strain gauges. Pairs of fibre Bragg gratings were simultaneously interrogated at 1540 and 1550 nm centre wavelengths to demonstrate the ability of the system to use multiple sensors for quazi-distributed sensing and temperature compensation. The Optical Interrogator resolution is approximately 4 microstrains, accounting for longer term temperature drift, and it is capable of resolving dynamic strains at rates of up to 90 Hz.