Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) and its applications

DAS and its applicationsIn southwest Iceland, there is a fiber optic cable that connects two geothermal power plants. It is used as every casual fiber optic cable for data transmitting. However, in 2015 a research team decided to apply it for detecting seismic waves of earthquakes, so they could draw a map of the underground features including geological faults. And distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) made it possible.

Scientists made their discovery thanks to distributed acoustic sensing (DAS). This technique measures any tiny changes to the phase of fiber optic laser pulses that reflect from many points on fiber optics. The thing is an acoustic or seismic wave stretches and compresses fiber optics when it passes through the ground where the fiber optic is attached. DAS systems can provide the necessary information at a reasonable cost. Moreover, the usual seismometers couldn’t reach such kind of information.

In fact, Iceland is not the first country where the distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology was applied. Before that, fiber optic cables were produced in other seismic regions, for example, in the USA. The precise information on earthquakes’ location, nearby faults was got thanks to the fiber optics both on the seabed and on land. Scientists consider that by using a million kilometers of fiber optic cable around the world, we can broaden quake monitoring thanks to the network of seismometers with fiber optic sensors.

Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) has been previously applied mostly in the fossil-fuels industry. The sensing technology helped to monitor boreholes and image deposits of oil and gas. Nowadays, it has many other applications for extracting data from vibration in the ground. Distributed acoustic sensing can even shed some light on global warming by studying the glaciers’ movements in the Antarctic and Alaska.

Besides earthquakes, researchers proved that they can use DAS systems for studying other natural hazards. The research team from Italy showed that they can detect the strain changes connected to the volcanic phenomena which include explosions. They also discovered seismic waves slowing through presumed fault zones on the volcano.

In the meantime, scientists from Japan demonstrated that DAS technology can monitor submarine volcanoes. The researchers measured the signals from the fiber optic cable on the seafloor. They found out that fiber optic sensors could produce coherent measurements that are needed for underwater eruptions’ recording.

Distributed sensing is an effective instrument that provides us with a lot of data that we can’t observe with the naked eye. Considering how widely fiber optic lines are used, distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) can give many possibilities to scientists and society.

Optromix is a DAS system manufacturer that provides top-of-the-line distributed acoustic sensing systems suitable for monitoring commerce networks. If you have any questions or would like to buy a DAS system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

Fiber Optic Technology and its recent advances

Fiber Optic Technology advancesDuring the last 60 years, fiber optic technology has been applied to improve the efficiency of developed systems in various spheres like medicine, vehicles, and other industries. Modern fiber optic solutions expand the abilities by implementing levels of data and sensing technology in the energy, medical field, and even aerospace. There are various fiber optic solutions that help researchers improve their development and make new discoveries in science.

Intrinsic and extrinsic fiber optic sensors are two wide categories of fiber optic sensors. Extrinsic fiber optic sensors utilize the fiber to manage the light to a sensing region. Then the optical signal is modulated in another environment. Talking about the intrinsic fiber optic sensors, the light remains within the waveguide. So it measures the influence of the optical fiber signal.

Intrinsic fiber optic sensor technology, where the fiber optic sensor is the fiber optic cable itself, has improved significantly during recent years. There are two main technologies connected to intrinsic fiber optic sensors: scattering and FBG. FBG methods can be fully distributed or have many sensing points. With the help of FBG sensors, scientists can define the changes by getting precise measurements. Scattering techniques depend on natural imperfections occurring in the fiber optic cable. The FBGs have a high signal-to-noise ratio in comparison with scattering techniques.

Both scattering and FBGs use different demodulation techniques. Scattering techniques get the information by observing changes in naturally back-scattering patterns. For FBG based technology, wavelength division multiplexing is the most prevalent demodulation technique. However, in certain circumstances, optical frequency domain reflectometry can become the most useful method.

Wavelength division multiplexing is able to spread to large distances and get the data rapidly. This technology can also support multiple fiber Bragg gratings on a fiber. It observes critical points more than the whole field of the data. That is why it is mostly applied in automobile crash testing as a monitoring instrument.

The scattering techniques can cover long distances and give a distributed profile of the data. They obtain information all over the entire fiber optic cable. Many systems on the market measure temperature or acoustics and are called Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) or Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). These techniques are usually applied in monitoring a pipeline for tampering, for example, where there is no need for high-speed acquisition.

Optical frequency domain reflectometry is another demodulation technique that is mostly applied with FBG sensors where fiber Bragg gratings are placed really close and create a fully distributed sensing fiber. It has many advantages like the combination of high spatial resolution, a bunch of fiber optic sensors, a quick refresh rate, and a full distribution set. Apart from distributed sensing of a strain and temperature, this technology allows defining 2D deflection, liquid level, magnetic fields, etc.

Nowadays, thanks to fiber optic technology, scientists have an opportunity to solve any problems in their designs by using fiber optic systems. And there are still many possibilities for fiber optic technology in the future.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, fbg strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at info@optromix.com

Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) for ice sheets

Scientists from the UK have applied fiber optic systems to observe the Greenland ice sheet and get the most accurate measurements of ice characteristics. They chose distributed temperature sensing (DTS) as the main instrument for collecting data about the ice sheets melting. The results will be used to build more precise movement models of the second-largest ice sheet in the world.

Nowadays, the Greenland Ice Sheet plays a crucial role in the rising global sea level. The main reasons for the Ice Sheet’s mass loss are the meltwater runoff and the discharge of ice into the ocean by the glaciers. That’s why the scientists chose it for the research with the help of fiber optic systems.

The researchers applied modern fiber optic technology in order to determine the ice sheet movement. To discover thermodynamic processes within a glacier, they used distributed temperature sensing (DTS). According to the research, this fiber optic system consists of a 1000 meters length fiber optic cable that transmits laser pulses. In comparison with the previous researches, when the temperature was measured with separate sensors far away from each other, the fiber optic technology measures the temperature along the entire fiber optic cable. As a result, the scientists get a really detailed profile of ice sheet temperature.

First of all, the scientists drill through the glacier to install the fiber optic cable. Then they put it into the borehole. The research team transmits laser pulses in the fiber optic cable and writes any light changes down. The light changes demonstrate the different temperatures of the surrounding ice. And the last step is collecting the data and its analysis.

Thanks to the distributed fiber optic sensors, scientists have already found that the temperature distribution is diverse. This deformation is concentrated on the lines of ice that belong to different ages and types. Researchers suppose that it can be caused by the dust content of the ice or large fractures.

The great advantage of this fiber optic technology is the fact that the temperature can be recorded over vast distances and at high resolution. The scientists are working on the other aspects that could be useful in future research, for example, deformation.

The received data collected with the help of distributed temperature sensing systems allows developing advanced designs and models of the ice sheet movement. Fiber optic technology also will help to predict its movements in the future and define the approximate sea level rise.

Optromix is a DTS system manufacturer that provides top of the line distributed temperature sensing systems suitable for monitoring commerce networks. If you have any questions or would like to buy a DTS system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

Distributed Sensing market and its growth forecast

Distributed Sensing market forecastAccording to the researchers, the distributed sensing market is predicted to reach more than $891 million by 2026. The distributed temperature sensing power cables and distributed acoustic sensing systems, as well as global environmental changes, are expected to increase the demand significantly. The modern advancements and developments connected with the light-sized fiber optic systems stimulate globally the distributed sensing market. Moreover, the growth of the distributed sensing market can also be explained by the government’s support for distributed temperature sensing technology.

Nowadays, there are many appliances of distributed sensing systems. There is an extensive need for monitoring continuous temperature changes within big territories and long distances, for example, in the oil sphere. The distributed temperature sensing systems are also applied in subsea areas. Distributed sensing can also help in providing security and productivity in different market sectors in the upcoming years. Moreover, fiber optic solutions are more often applied in fire detection processes.

In April the newly developed fiber optic system got a reward for the innovative approach and commercialization. The fiber optic system expands the coverage of distributed sensors. As a result, this innovation gives new possibilities in many fields such as energy, infrastructure, and environmental sectors. This fiber optic technology allows the collection of more precise data. That could lead to the improvement of sustainability, enhancing operational safety, and getting optimal costs for existing and new applications.

Distributed fiber optic sensors offer sensitivity 100 times greater than the usual ones. The higher sensitivity solves the emerging critical problem and challenges fast. That allows monitoring the situation continuously. This fiber optic technology also provides all the advantages such as carbon capture, improved geothermal systems, and dam integrity monitoring as well as subsea oil and gas wells.

In conclusion, distributed sensing systems are a very promising technology for many sectors. Thanks to the distributed sensors that are extremely sensitive to any slight changes, they can provide the most precise picture in comparison with other modern technologies.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, FBG strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at info@optromix.com