How DAS and Fibre Optic Sensing Can Help Cities Get Smarter
By Chris Shannon, Group CEO
The future of smart cities – and for cities on a journey to become smarter – is inextricably linked to the humble fibre optic cable, not just doing its communication duty, but also working as a continuous microphone, listening to and, thanks to software and AI, analysing vibrations.
I recently appeared as a guest on the Smart and Sustainable City podcast, hosted by Pierre Mirlesse. As it is one of the most highly-acclaimed podcasts in that sector, it was a great opportunity to positively discuss how fibre optic sensing impacts smart city development. Sensing technology is helping older cities, like London, who want to get smarter and being at the heart of new smart cities, such as NEOM in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Sensing technology, which historically has been deployed in pipeline integrity monitoring, is now being used to, for example, monitor the rail and tram network in Calgary. Despite extensive GPS connectivity, due to urban canyoning, the city struggled to get accurate and real-time information on the locations of the trams. Thanks to the vibrational information derived from the fibre optic sensing technology, they now can, and those insights are reaping additional benefits, including improved efficiencies for passengers getting on and off the trams.
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