GTI tests fiber warning system for pipelines

Fiber optic technology is being tested for use as an early warning system for gas transmission pipelines. The system should help prevent damage by construction work.

A new pipeline safety system is being tested by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Gas Technology Institute (GTI). The test will use experimental fiber optic cable to warn pipeline operators of encroaching construction activity. Construction and other third party activity is the major cause of damage to gas transmission pipelines.


In the test, construction equipment will create vibrations in the ground. As these reach the fiber, they cause minute deformation which change its light reflection properties. By measuring the timing of these perturbations, the location of the encroaching equipment can be determined.

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