Last year Sabeus Sensor Systems created a new division to focus on oil and gas production. The company is to leverage two new fiber-optic-based sensing systems for permanent borehole installation. Sabeus’ technology turns optical fiber into sensitive and precise sensors that can measure over 60 different parameters.
Sabeus writes microscopic patterns into the core of the fiber at precise, predetermined intervals. These patterns, called Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBGs,) cause light transmitted down the fiber to be reflected back to the source. If the fiber in the area of a grating is distorted by some external force, the reflected light experiences a change in wavelength or phase, which may be detected at the source.
Writing such microscopically-precise FBG’s at exact locations along a continuous, long fiber proved a manufacturing challenge. Sabeus has a patented technology for accomplishing this by writing FBG’s through the protective cladding of the fiber. This creates reliable fiber-optic sensors capable of withstanding the high pressure and temperature found in oil wells. Sabeus has announced a distributed temperature sensing system, with up to 400 channels, and a 4000 Hz pressure-temperature-vibration sensor system.
Investors Agere Systems, Inc., TL Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Digital Coast Ventures, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Lexington Ventures have put a total of $26 million into the company to date. Sabeus announced this month that won the 2002 Photonics Circle of Excellence Award for its cold writing optical fiber manufacturing process.
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