Fiber optic sensing developments from Energistics and OptaSense.

Proposed mods to ProdML add HDF storage for raw sensing data acquisition. OptaSense leverages existing fiber networks in ‘opportunistic’ monitoring of earthquakes and ambient noise.

In a recent webinar, Wilfred Berlang (Shell) and Laurence Ormerod (Energistics) argued for a standards-based approach to digital acoustic and temperature sensing (DAS) data management. Raw DAS data can be in the terabyte/day/fiber range. The authors propose an HDF file storage model for both raw and processed DAS data along with metadata stored in an extension of ProdML’s XML protocol. The protocol has been in development over the past five years and is currently in real world use. Most recently, a new group is working on using the Energistics Transfer Protocol to stream real-time DAS data. This technology is designed for remote, live monitoring of frac jobs.

In a separate presentation, DAS specialist Martin Karrenbach (OptaSense) showed how fiber networks can be used in an opportunistic fashion to monitor earthquake activity and ambient noise. Fiber networks such as those used by telephone companies or pipeline operators can be repurposed to capture earthquake signals or ambient traffic noise. One elegant example is the Big glass microphone, a fiber network deployed at Stanford university that shows, in some detail, traffic, footfall and even a water fountain on the campus. BGM is a joint venture between Stamen Design and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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