UK-based Qinetiq has just launched ‘OptaSense’ a border, pipeline and cable security system. OptaSense detects multiple, simultaneous disturbances over a 40km length of either existing or installed optical fiber with a 10 meter resolution. The multi-mode (fiber-optics, hydrophones and accelerometers) system protects critical infrastructure against accidental or malicious damage—a challenging task in view of the distances involved.
Partner in the solution is UK-based Sensoptics which has provided the fiber optic technology behind OptaSense. OptaSense combines standard single mode optical fiber with control and analysis software that continuously monitors the entire fiber to detect, locate and categorize multiple, simultaneous disturbances. The high quality acoustic signature can also be monitored through headphones.
Qinetiq MD Mike O’Connor said, ‘OptaSense detects intruders onshore and also monitors mechanical failure in critical underwater infrastructure.’ OptaSense provides coordinates and cues other sensors, such as cameras, to ensure appropriate follow up. The system’s acoustic sensitivity can be used to ‘listen’ to the flow through a pipe, so that blockages and leaks can be located.
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