In the 21st Century, we increasingly depend on a connected world. This is especially true for the power and communications cables we now so heavily rely on, which are vulnerable to both accidental and malicious damage, as well as electrical and mechanical failures.
These interruptions leave customers disappointed and are costly to operators.
Using fibre optic cables, Fotech’s Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) technology can monitor the health of cables automatically, giving you an enhanced understanding of activities as they happen, and gathering intelligence on events around or involving your cables.
Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) technology converts an optical fibre into a state-of-the-art sensor that can detect vibrations along the length of a cable. Events, including third party interference – such as digging or lifting an access cover – or mechanical failure at a substation, all generate vibrations with distinct acoustic characteristics. Fotech’s DAS solution monitors these vibrations, which are analysed by cutting-edge software to provide continuous and accurate real-time information along your cables, using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to alert you to potential risks to your cable or inform maintenance needs.
LiveDETECT® Cable Network Applications
Onshore cable operators depend on Fotech LiveDETECT II® to monitor and protect:
Cable Integrity Monitoring:
Cable downtime is costly but monitoring thousands of kilometres of cable is challenging. DAS allows you to confidently monitor your cables in real time and detect risks to within a few metres. Fotech’s powerful software and advanced AI filter out the background noise and ensure that you are alerted to the events along the cable that matter.
A DAS solution allows you to prevent costly downtime with the ability to prevent or quickly repair damage to your cables.
Onshore Cable Monitoring Case Study: $300 Million For 3 Milliseconds
In a 2014, Spread Networks spent $300 million drilling new tunnels to provide more direct route for fibre optic cable from Chicago to New York City, saving 3 milliseconds on communication speed between the two cities. At $100 million per millisecond this represented a major infrastructure investment. But the result is worth millions of dollars to high frequency traders who will have an advantage over competitors with slower communications.
For such a high value cabling asset, it is vital that the network is monitored continuously, and any threats to reliability are swiftly identified and pro-actively addressed. A DAS solution on such a route would guarantee reliability by identifying potential risks to the cable and facilitating the coordination of security teams.
In other examples, in 2015, Fotech’s Helios DAS monitoring platform was used to investigate a fault in a 150kV cable in an underground conduit between two electrical power substations. The resulting intelligence equipped repair teams to identify the exact location of suspected cable damage with only a single flashover test. The result was a fast, effective repair with minimal risk and cost.