Sensing cables for SHM (structural health monitoring) and related applications. The cables can be used for strain and temperature sensing. They are characterized by robust and rugged design, suitable for embedding directly in concrete or similar medium, for attaching them with epoxies or for direct burial. Once embedded into concrete, FRP or soil structures, they are used to monitor strain, aging, temperature distribution, cracks formation and propagation or structure movement. To ensure robustness, the cables are typically connectorized with outdoor IP67 connectors, so that they can be left in the field unsupervised and then easily connected to a portable measuring instrument by the technician. The other end, depending on the measurement technique used, can be furnished with the no-reflection or high-reflection termination. For cost optimization, the actual sensing part of the cable (“active” length) can be extended with a non-sensing cable (“passive” length), providing the same robustness and acting as a launch cable.