22nd September 2016, Church Crookham – Fotech Solutions, the linear asset technology monitoring specialist, has partnered with Frauscher Sensor Technology to launch the new Frauscher Tracking Solutions (FTS), which uses Distributed Acoustic Sensing technology to monitor a wide range of activities along the track.

DAS works by converting a standard optical fibre into tens of thousands of highly sensitive vibrational sensors. When these vibrations disturb the casing of the fibre, Fotech’s Helios DAS system can accurately identify and locate specific activities along sections of track, from passing trains, wheel flats and rail breaks, to rock falls and perimeter security. These issues can all be detected in real-time, enabling personnel to respond in a timely manner and mitigate against potentially major incidents or to simply help plan routine maintenance more effectively.    

Chris Shannon, CEO, Fotech Solutions commented: “Over the last 8 years, Fotech has been developing some fantastic DAS technologies, delivering real-time monitoring solutions to the Pipeline, Security and Oil & Gas markets. However, we knew that to take our technology to the rail market, we would need to work with people who not only have the industry experience and expertise in rail sensors, but also the vision to address the market with this new technology. We realised this vision in Frauscher and I’m sure that as we continue to innovate together, FTS with DAS will prove to be a true industry game changer.”

Commenting on the partnership, Peter Bradley, FTS Director of Frauscher Sensor Technology said: ‘Our goal was to deploy DAS technology as an FTS integrated element safely in the rail sector and working with Fotech has enabled us to do just that. Feedback from pilot installations has been overwhelmingly positive and I’m confident that as we continue to refine the technology and invest in research and development FTS will become a base technology for train tracking, asset condition monitoring and security applications..

FTS systems are already in several pilots in North America, Europe, India, Australia and Brazil evaluating various rail specific applications.