Structural Health Monitoring Systems Applications

Structural health monitoring systems have found a number of applications in various fields. A complex approach including several techniques is the best solution for detecting damage and structural changes.

Here are some examples of its implementation in structures where fiber optic technology is more commonly used.Structural Health Monitoring Systems Applications

Structural Health Monitoring Common Information

The most effective methods of maintenance programs include early detection of material degradation and failure. Mostly, fiber optic systems have two purposes of applications:

  • Structural efficiency control during the construction;
  • Continuous monitoring of structural efficiency under service loads.

Structural health monitoring systems consist of three subsystems:

  • A network of fiber Bragg grating sensors;
  • An FBG interrogator that records the optical reflection from each fiber optic sensor. They are placed in the necessary locations, depending on the applications and type of the structure.
  • A processing unit that collects all the data from the FBG interrogator, processes it and transmits it to the user.

Distributed Sensing Systems

Distributed temperature systems are often the choice for harsh environments where traditional sensors may not be suitable. When we talk about dams, tunnels and similar structures, there are conditions that greatly affect the operation of the structures and sensors. Ground movement, earth pressure, water and groundwater have an impact on the reliability and efficiency of any monitoring system.

Specialists can monitor all deformations and temperature changes through distributed sensing. Distributed fiber optic sensors are capable of measuring various parameters from thousands of points and transmitting them to a center that provides complex data on any changes.

Distributed temperature systems are often the choice for harsh environments where traditional sensors may not be suitable. In the case of dams, tunnels and similar structures, there are conditions that have a major impact on the operation of the facility and its sensors. Ground movement, earth pressure, water and groundwater will affect the reliability and efficiency of any monitoring system.

Structural Health Monitoring of Dams

Dam safety can have a significant impact on the surrounding environment and people. That’s why structural health monitoring of the dams is an essential part of the dam safety regime. Timely detection of defects and minimizing the effects of possible damage are the main purposes of such systems. However, specialists may face some difficulties due to the height and complex structures of the dams. Comprehensive structural health monitoring can’t be fully achieved with just a few monitoring points; it requires a complete, properly designed fiber optic system. Another problem is that some areas of the dams are inaccessible or difficult to access.

There are a number of factors that can affect dam construction. These include temperature, hydrostatic pressure, chemical reactions, etc. There are also environmental factors such as air temperature, reservoir levels, and earthquakes.

All of these circumstances can be the cause of typical dam problems such as cracking, displacement, etc. The other problem is the appearance of internal erosion, which can cause the failure of the whole mechanism in the future. This problem is hard to detect. That’s why it is important to have an effective fiber optic system in place for structural health monitoring and therefore safe operation.

Accidents in dams usually occur during the first filling or in the first few years of operation. However, there are also accidents that occur later.

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of Tunnels

SHM is able to provide a quick assessment of the state of health of the tunnel. It is typically used for safety improvement and optimization of maintenance and operations activities. The fiber optic monitoring system provides data on any changes in indicators that could be the cause of tunnel collapse. This makes it possible to monitor the stability of the structure and take action when it’s needed.

The construction of tunnels is based on soil conditions, the functions of the tunnels themselves, and logistical issues. Underground construction is irreplaceable, especially in cities where land resources are scarce. They are not as susceptible to the effects of natural disasters as are structures on the surface of the earth.

In the hard-to-reach or problematic areas of the tunnels, distributed monitoring systems are usually recommended. This makes it easy for staff to monitor the condition of their structures and perform necessary maintenance in a timely manner. This is especially important when it comes to fires – the biggest danger in tunnels. There are special fiber optic systems for temperature control and early warning of ignition, including fiber optic heat detectors.

Today, there are automated fiber optic solutions that provide accurate monitoring from a remote location. These fiber optic devices are often designed specifically for use in critical locations. In addition, they consider the cases that may occur, such as the use of the additional FBG sensors. If the other sensor fails, they will be able to operate.

Distributed temperature sensing is a newly introduced technique capable of complex structural health monitoring systems. Temperature and pressure control is especially important for dams and tunnels with their difficult-to-access locations and other challenges that staff usually face. SHM is the solution for these situations.

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

Distributed Temperature Sensing Systems for Coal Mines

Distributed temperature sensing systems as well as fiber Bragg optic sensors are focused on the continuous monitoring of the constructions’ health condition and prevention of potential damages. The DTS system consists of a fiber optic cable, typically several kilometers long, that works as a temperature sensor. As a result, specialists can watch all dynamic temperature changes in a continuous temperature profile.DTS Systems for Coal Mines

DTS Systems as a Fire Detection Technology

In the mining industry, the risk of fires still remains very high. Conventional fire and heat alarm systems require constant and expensive maintenance and are not as effective as fiber optic monitoring systems. Thanks to modern DTS technology, both of these problems are now solved.

There are many forces in mines that can cause a fire. The possibility of fire is especially high in certain locations due to the complicating factors such as:

  • geological settings;
  • presence of the vehicles, heat-generating and mobile equipment;
  • conveyor failures;
  • lighting faults, etc.

Distributed temperature sensing systems have been proven to outperform standard fire detection systems in a range of aspects including efficiency and high level of safety.

The DTS system includes a single fiber optic cable and a DTS unit. The traditional system includes many components and devices. The distinction of DTS results in lower installation and maintenance costs due to less equipment, and in improved system reliability. Therefore, there is no need in its regular service that can be complicated because of the difficulty of access and huge size of the mine. Moreover, the conducted field projects have demonstrated that fiber optic sensors inform the operators about the heat significantly earlier than a fire starts.

All these advantages have made DTS technology one of the main methods for the detection of potential fires or other abnormal conditions.

Fiber Optic Sensors for Detection of Faulty Conveyor Belt Rollers

The conveyor belts are cost-effective instruments for continuous transporting of dry bulk materials over various distances. Due to the latest technologies, the accidents related to the problems with conveyor belts are relatively rare in modern underground coal mines. However, to this day there is a possibility of causing damage related to the conveyor belt accidents that can result in the interruption of the production process.

The reliability of the whole conveyor belt depends on the robustness of its separate components. Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) system helps to monitor the thermal conditions of each idler and detect the malfunctions. DTS systems use the latest advancements of fiber optic technology. They have proven to be a safe method of application in underground mines.

There are some aspects to consider when choosing the suitable monitoring system. Firstly, it is not easy to obtain data from a vast area. It requires the setting up of thousands of sensor elements. Secondly, the data transmission can be challenging due to the underground mine environment. Therefore, some types of equipment are prohibited for usage, such as electrical cables. Fiber optic monitoring systems have been able to solve a number of such issues that engineers usually face during underground mining.

The DTS system consists of a DTS unit and a fiber optic cable. The system measures temperature along the entire length of the cable and transmits the data to the operators who can detect any mechanical failures of the rolling components at an early stage. The specialists see real-time data of the conveyor structure and the surrounding area.

The specialists conducted a range of experiments to find the most effective placement of the fiber optic monitoring system. The problem is that fiber optic sensors can’t be located over the idlers because they will interrupt the operation. So they are attached to the frame of the idler, as close to the bearing as possible. This affects the results because fiber optic sensors take longer to capture the heat. However, they still have better results compared to the traditional methods.

Fiber Optic Sensing for Monitoring of Roof Activity

According to statistics, there are many causes that can lead to mine accidents including dust explosions, mine support deterioration, etc. However, the most common cause of the accidents that take place in underground coal mines is mine collapse.

Design and functioning of the underground mines creates a number of complicated factors for operation. The dynamism of mining operations and increasing depth can lead to the associated risks and jeopardize an acceptable level of safety. At the same time, there are always natural risks to the mine structures, such as seismic shocks which can also lead to roof stratum displacements.

Roof activity monitoring can be used for a variety of purposes, including structural health construction monitoring of the underground openings and design optimization. For the majority of projects, fiber optic monitoring systems are applied due to their ease of use in harsh environments compared to other conventional methods.

Fiber optic sensing monitoring is able to help in reduction of the mine roof displacement and thus avoid severe consequences. There are different types of fiber Bragg grating sensors that are used to monitor displacement, temperature or strain in underground openings or nearby them depending on the purposes. FBG sensors have proved to be reliable and accurate monitoring equipment of roof activities in underground coal mining. Modern fiber optic monitoring systems have made it possible to display all changes of the required parameters on the screen almost instantly and prevent any accidents in underground mines.

The conducted projects on the mining sites have demonstrated the benefits of fiber optic sensors. The fiber optic monitoring systems can detect the slight roof displacement during the progressive face advance. The received data is usually used for roadway support and design of the mine.

In conclusion, thanks to the latest state-of-the-art technologies nowadays there is an opportunity to monitor structural health constantly. That is why distributed temperature sensing systems are widely applied for structural health monitoring of different constructions including mines. The fiber optic sensing has found many spheres of applications due to the qualities it has.

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

Dual Lasers in DTS Systems for Oil and Gas Wells

DTS systems provide the oil and gas and other industries with the new cutting-edge fiber optic solutions such as a groundbreaking dual laser technology which offers the most robust and the simplest distributed temperature sensing systems accessible to the industry. This technology also includes the ability of the automatic correction for dynamic changes to the sensing fiber.

What is Distributed Temperature Sensing?

Distributed temperature sensing, also known as DTS, is a technology that measures the temperature along the whole fiber optic cable in a continuous fashion. The fiber optic line can be any required length up to 30 km. The system includes the recording instrumentation at one or both ends of the cable. It can work permanently or from time to time for each use, depending on the requirements.Dual Lasers in Distributed Sensing Systems

Most Common DTS Applications

Distributed sensing systems have established themselves as an effective part of fiber optic technology. High temperatures are related to the severe environmental conditions which make operational processes difficult. However, fiber optic sensors can operate in such conditions greatly, especially, if we compare them with the electrical-based temperature sensors. That’s why fiber optic systems have found many applications, such as fire detection, healthcare, railways, etc.

DTS systems are installed on the electric power lines to monitor temperature changes. The temperature may indicate the electrical overload or other deviations from the norm in time. DTS technology allows power companies to exploit the assets more effectively.

With the help of constant monitoring, it is easy to react immediately to the temperature rising. When this rising is above a predefined threshold, the alarm sets off. The early detection and warning lead to reduction of the damage that failures may cause.

DTS Applications in the Oil and Gas Industry

Fiber optic technology has been used in the oil and gas industry for over the last 25 years. Fiber optic systems were installed in various types of oil wells starting from land wells and ending with offshore wells. Fiber optic technology allows watching down hole casing deformation or changes in sand screen completions.

Thanks to its operational principles, distributed temperature sensing offers critical asset monitoring solutions that can be applied for oil and gas companies. DTS systems immediately provide the actual and accurate information about temperature with high resolution and high speed. Fiber optic cable provides specialists with the numerous measurement readings along the whole optical fiber. This feature helps companies in detecting leaks along the pipelines, whether along its length or anywhere on the cross-section. The faster the leaks are found, the less damage can be. It means considerable cost savings for companies. Moreover, DTS technology helps in identifying under-performing zones, optimizing gas lift operations, etc.

Distributed temperature sensing has been applied safely to follow up pressure or reactor vessels. Depending on the required set-ups, the temperature measurements can be held as frequently as every 30 seconds. Any changes in temperature may point out some problems that have occurred. So the increasing temperature of the vessel wall usually predicts the system or the process failure.

Dual Lasers in DTS Systems

Each year, specialists implement DTS systems more often to make the efficiency of production better. The integration of the dual lasers into such systems is a new technology, aiming at the life extension of optical fibers and solving the most appearing concerns. The most common issues that optical fibers face are fiber darkening or their damage.

The fiber darkening can misrepresent the statements and lead to the failure of the DTS system. It occurs where there are high pressure and high temperature environments that are usual for oil wells. The darkening happens unevenly and is progressive over time that makes the manual calibration techniques ineffective. Moreover, different connectors on the fiber can result in various degrees of optical loss. Two lasers operate at different wavelengths, so there is an automated adjusting system for any changes in optical loss in the fiber. They immediately react and correct these effects which allows the further use without re-installation of the whole system from the very beginning.

Such fiber optic systems help in cost-reducing by avoiding the re-deployment of the equipment. Despite the other systems, they don’t need the manual calibration techniques, but operate automatically all over the length. The manual calibration usually requires repeated recalibration efforts.

Newly developed DTS systems with dual lasers offer great advantages especially where there is no or limited access to the optical fiber. They help to extend the lifetime of the fiber and ease fiber optic systems’ deployment.

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

Distributed Temperature Sensing at shallow depths

Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) is a state-of-the-art tool that possess an ability to monitor temperature rates over large territory and across wide temporal scales. This fiber optic technology has proved to be effective in different spheres and industries. However, despite the long field experience story, it still has its limitations and challenges apart from all the advantages. For example, when we talk about its application at shallow or deep depths.

DTS at shallow depths

The main difficulties in Distributed Temperature Sensing application

Despite all the progress that was achieved during this decade, distributed temperature sensing still meets some challenges. For example, when applied to the ocean, since dynamic oceanographic processes have a wide range of parameters, ranging from various types of turbulence to different climates, all data obtained from DTS systems fully help in understanding the dynamics of a complex ocean. However, different constraints can make modifications in time scales creating restrictions. Furthermore, there is a need for many additional advanced equipment for broad spatial resolution. That’s why it’s still complicated to use DTS in oceanography. However, now there are cases when distributed temperature sensing (DTS) is applied, for instance, in the Atlantic.

Recently, the scientists announced the first experiments on the seafloor of the Arctic sea ice with the help of the distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) system. This research has shown that fiber optic technology is effective, despite all the difficulties the scientists have faced due to the harsh environment. The system recorded a range of events that commonly applied equipment couldn’t even detect. Moreover, the DAS technology has detected the icequakes, various climate signals, and marine life.

From the other side, DTS systems can be applied in measuring surface water temperature spatial variability in lakes and rivers. The received data helps in the assessment of different factors such as estimating fish habitat and thermal inertia, the interaction between surface water and groundwater, etc. Usually, distributed temperature sensing is successfully applied in rivers and lakes with sensitive and high-resolution temperature monitoring under the wide temporal and spatial scales. Nevertheless, difficulties may arise in streams with cobbly or bedrock-lined streambeds. To avoid all the challenges, more expensive additional technologies are needed.

There are other factors that should be ensured like sensitive equipment needs protection and continuous power to work. Besides, optical fibers are delicate, they shouldn’t be bent or crimped.

How the Distributed sensing system works

Distributed sensing systems are appealing because they are able to continuously sample preserving while maintaining relatively high temporal and spatial resolution. Moreover, the accuracy indicators stay the same over a vast territory.

Distributed temperature sensors measurement allows to constantly observe temperature changes along the fiber optic cable. In this fiber optic technology the whole cable plays the role of the sensing element that measures temperature. It differs this method from the usual electrical temperature measurement. Moreover, the distributed temperature sensing is regarded as the most cost-effective and efficient system among the modern temperature measurement technologies.

The main operation principles of measurement are built on detecting the back-scattering of light:

        1. The first type is an optical fiber that uses Raman scattering. This approach was invented in the United Kingdom. Optical fibers are usually made from doped quartz glass. When the light falls on the excited molecular oscillations, the electrons of the molecule and the electrons of the molecule start interaction. This process is called Raman scattering and results in scattered light.
        2. The second method is the Brillouin scattering-based approach. It was mostly developed in the 1990s. It refers to the scattering of a light wave by an acoustic wave because of the interaction with the acoustic phonons. Thanks to the ability of the Brillouin scattering of making both frequency down- and up-shifted light, this method can be applied whether for distributed temperature or strain sensing. It can contain both, but they can’t work at the same time.
        3. The third technique is named Rayleigh back-scattering. This is the latest development. As well as for the previously developed distributed sensors, a usual optical fiber can be used as the sensor. It allows the entire cable to be used as a single sensor, without purchasing expensive individual sensors. Scientists applied this technique, for example, for measuring distributed temperature in a nuclear reactor.

If we compare all these three techniques, each of them has its pros and cons. According to the scientists, the Rayleigh scattering demonstrates the highest rates in comparison with other types. However, it has limits in a range of fiber length. This factor is crucial for long lengths of cables’ monitoring. For this characteristic, the Brillouin scattering shows the best results. Besides, it has temperature sensitivity and good measurement time. Moreover, Brillouin scattering allows to detect distributed strain, unlike the other two methods. But usually it is applied either for distributed temperature measurement or strain. According to the data, Brillouin scattering is more often used as a substitute for Raman scattering.

DTS systems in field experiments

In accordance with the final field experiments, despite all the challenges, temperature measurements with the help of the DTS systems have been performed successfully in various environments including rivers, lakes, seas, etc. The fiber Bragg grating sensors have been applied both in fresh and sea water and demonstrated good results. Furthermore, it refers to simultaneous measurement of temperature and depth which has been impossible for previous fiber sensors.

Modern fiber optic sensors provide the parallel measurements of temperature and pressure at the same place. Besides, in comparison with other methods, fiber optic technology provides much lower power consumption. It allows the DTS systems to work longer and makes longer experiments and observation possible.

The developed fiber optic technology can be used for measurements and monitoring of the physical parameters. Moreover, it is well-placed for many cases and can be applied to various applications, such as wave and tide gauges, tsunami warning systems, etc.

All in all, we can say that distributed temperature sensing (DTS) can be successfully applied in various cases at shallow depths due to their diversity. The system can be designed and installed in accordance with the existing conditions and parameters in every single case.

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

Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) in oceanography

DTS in oceanographyThe technology of distributed temperature sensing (DTS) is based on the application of Raman scattering from a laser beam light through optical fibers to detect temperature parameters along a fiber optic cable. The thing is that temperature resolution plays a crucial role. Herewith, this feature makes it possible to efficiently use DTS systems in oceanography.

Even though oceanographic applications of distributed temperature sensing are not new but such observations are not often. The reason is the serious challenges of deployment, calibration, and operation in oceanographic environment conditions. Nevertheless, researchers have tested the DTS system to overcome oceanographic configuration, calibration, and data processing difficulties.

It should be noted that they also evaluate temperature errors of DTS for several common scenarios. Difficult conditions influence the whole process, thus, the researchers look for alternative calibration, analysis, and deployment methods for distributed temperature sensing.

Therefore, these errors will be reduced and the successful application of DTS systems will be increased in dynamic ocean conditions. The thing is that DTS technology allows for “continuously sampling at a relatively high temporal and spatial resolution for significant duration over broad spatial scales.”

Despite distributed temperature sensing is widely applied in environmental applications, the oceanographic area remains challenging and still relatively rare. The main purpose of new DTS development is the solution to common problems present in oceanographic deployments.

To be more precise, the researchers use 2 various DTS systems, 3 fiber optic cables, and 24 thermistors. All of them help to test cables and different calibration configurations and perform distributed temperature sensing. Test results enable them to improve future oceanographic deployments. Moreover, they aid to achieve the best possible temperature signal in difficult deployment and operational environments.

DTS technology is a relatively new oceanographic tool. It allows for detecting temperature across wide spatial and temporal scales. Herewith, the application of such a fragile DTS system in remote and dynamically complex conditions remains difficult. Moreover, sometimes it is impossible to perform distributed temperature sensing at all.

Additionally, DTS systems face challenges during the detection of air/sea boundary. The reason is the change of water level, for instance, tides, waves, surge, etc., when the fiber optic cable can be exposed. Finally, the new DTS has succeeded to detect the temperature variance between the air-sea interface.

If you want to obtain a highly efficient distributed temperature sensing system, you should choose the Optromix company. Optromix is a manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for the global market. The company provides the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) products line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) systems, distributed temperature sensing (DTS) systems. If you are interested in DTS systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

Fiber optic sensors began to be widely used in space

fiber optic sensors in spaceMembers of NASA claim that they plan to test an enhanced fiber optic sensing system that allows performing thousands of measurements along the optical fiber about the thickness of a human hair for application in space. Herewith, such a promising fiber optic technology can control spacecraft systems during missions to the Moon and landings on Mars.

To be more precise, the system based on fiber optic sensors has been designed at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California to obtain strain and other measurement data for aircraft. The researchers adapted the fiber optic system for application in space, where its potential uses contain temperature and strain information essential for space flight safety.

It should be noted that four fiber optic sensing systems are planned to test in space during five months, herewith, such tests carried out will demonstrate whether space fiber optic sensors can pass the hard conditions of a rocket launch. The thing is that rockets and spacecraft are considered to be highly complex systems and they have a myriad of various factors to be measured that is why NASA plans to keep the first applications of space fiber optic systems simple.

The new fiber optic technology based on space-rated sensors enables us to measure distributed temperatures on the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test. The aim of the aeroshell of the fiber optic system is to slow down and protect heavy payloads from the intense heat of atmospheric re-entry. Additionally, the fiber optic sensors monitor temperatures on the backside of the inflatable decelerator, therefore, the researchers “are working on space optical fiber experiment that will travel as a self-contained experiment on a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket through NASA’s Flight Opportunities program.”

The opportunities provided by fiber optic technology also include the decrease of the heat produced by the unit’s electronics and by way of conduction, or moving the heat away from the unit, because of a lack of air in space. The fiber optic system is regarded as self-contained and essentially ready for plug and play application. The thing is that the operating principle of the system is based on fiber optic sensors that can endure severe conditions to measure distributed temperatures in a cryogenic environment that play a crucial role.

NASA is also developing a compact, economically, and hardly fiber optic sensing system version. Thus, the new fiber optic technology based on a temperature-tuned laser is used to overcome the challenges. The researchers continue improving the production techniques of fiber optic sensors and discussing performing a potential test of the sensors at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California to support the study of the new fiber optic technology.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating 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

Why DTS systems are beneficial to pipelines

DTS for pipelinesAlmost all pipelines suffer from numerous leaks during their operation, therefore, they require systems for fiber optic pipeline leak detection. Despite the fact that there are various techniques for leak detection, distributed temperature sensing systems (DTS) are considered to be an ideal option for the purpose.

Distributed temperature sensing is a technique that has been applied for more than two decades. DTS systems are regarded as the best option when a leak leads to a temperature differential between the ambient air and the escaping liquid or gas. The thing is that “temperature differentials generally occur when the pipeline product is at high pressure, high temperature or low temperature, all relative to ambient, which is characteristic of numerous pipelines.”

The operating principle of DTS is based on fiber optic sensing systems that operate as a sensor and measure temperatures along the entire length of optical fibers. Herewith, the optical fiber is put along the outside of the pipeline within the protective coating. It should be noted that the accurate installation location depends on the relative area(s) of the anticipated temperature differential caused by a leak, and on other reasons such as available mounting space.

To be more precise, DTS systems allow fastly identifying and precisely locating slow leaks at weld points, pipeline fittings, and herewith, sudden leaks. Fiber optic pipeline leak detection system enables detecting the precise location of leaks, often overcoming other distributed sensing technology. The fact is that even a tiny leak leads to a crucial temperature change, one that can be recorded by the DTS system.  Most DTS measures temperatures with a precision of a few degrees, more than sufficient for leak detection.

For instance, a modern leading distributed temperature sensing technology allows measuring temperatures at a distance of 6 km, totaling 6000 points of measurement. The fiber optic sensing system’s transceiver measures “temperatures for 6 km both upstream and downstream of its installation point, for a total coverage of 12 km per each transceiver.” It is possible to employ several transceivers with accompanying fiber optic cables to offer coverage for long pipelines, totaling hundreds or thousands of kilometers in distance.

DTS technology acts as a semi-automatic leak detection system, obtaining data information to enable operators to take action before automation and/or safety system activation. It should be mentioned that a semi-automatic system means that the leak detection occurs automatically, resulting in an alarm signal in a continuously staffed control room. 

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating 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 temperature measurement systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

DTS performs dam monitoring

DTS for dam monitoringDams applied for hydropower, irrigation or mining play a crucial role in human life, herewith, they evoke significant human, economic, and environmental consequences when they fail. Nevertheless, distributed fiber optic sensing increases dam safety by offering early alerts of potential problems.

To be more precise, modern distributed sensing systems are considered to have high accuracy for monitoring promoting a continuous understanding of dam conditions, taking dam safety to a higher level. For instance,  distributed temperature sensing (DTS technology) uses high spatial resolution temperature data from distributed temperature sensors to record tiny seepage flow changes and to estimate seepage rates in a dam structure. 

It should be noted that seepage happens in most embankment and earth dams as the impounded water looks for the path of least resistance through the dam and its foundations. Therefore, excessive seepage presents a threat while high-tech sensing systems enable to detect and analyze subsurface processes and prevent erosion. Distributed fiber optic sensing is a promising technology that can be employed to control critical geophysical parameters, for instance, temperature and strain with a sub-meter resolution over several km. 

Additionally, distributed sensing systems provide the benefits of cost-effective high spatial monitoring coverage. The thing is that optical fiber acts as the sensing system along the full length of the fiber optic cable allowing operators to obtain detailed data information along the entire dam. Distributed temperature sensors can catch tiny, localized changes in the seepage flow rates that would otherwise remain unnoticed. “They deliver temperature readings with the accuracy of point sensors with the indisputable benefit of fiber optics: the highest possible spatial coverage. ”

Moreover, the distributed temperature sensing does not need specialized optical fibers resulting in relatively low-cost installation. The thing is that measurements based on DTS systems provide data along the entire dam with high spatial resolution and high-temperature precision. Herewith, distributed temperature sensors have already been used in tailings dams. One of the main elements of the increasing number of permanent tools is the ever-increasing performance of the DTS systems. Modern fiber optic sensing systems achieve the world’s most accurate measurements, with sampling resolutions of 12cm (over 5km) and with temperature resolution as low as 0.01 C.  

Finally, seepage detection used distributed temperature sensing is regarded as a crucial technology and has prominently improved the monitoring capabilities of dam operators. The application of optical fiber networks provides additional benefits like the ability of distributed sensing systems develops further.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating 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 temperature measurement systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

Distributed temperature sensors promote warning systems

DTS for warning systemsTemperature is a key safety indicator in any industry. The technology of distributed temperature sensors using optical fiber allows measuring the temperature at any point in the fiber, with an interval of 1 meter, resulting in the detailed temperature dependence of all required areas. The data obtained by this technique makes it possible to develop intelligent warning systems based on it, therefore, replacing outdated point-based monitoring systems.

Operating principle of temperature sensors

The optical fiber itself acts like a fiber optic sensor, and the distributed nature of the DTS technology enables us to determine the temperature change at an arbitrary point, spreading many kilometers from it. Moreover, the measurement quality is not affected by electromagnetic radiation, thus, the distributed temperature technology is free from false alarms.

To be more precise, distributed temperature sensors (DTS) allow measuring the characteristics of an object along a fiber optic cable, while the fiber cable is a linear sensor, which is a continuously distributed sensing element throughout its entire length.

The operating principle is based on the reflectivity of stimulated Raman scattering of light (Raman effect). A semiconductor laser is also used to determine the location of temperature changes in a fiber optic cable. The fact is that the structure of the optical fiber changes when the temperature changes. 

When laser beam light from the laser system enters the area of temperature change, it interacts with the changed structure of the optical fiber, and in addition to direct light scattering, reflected light appears.

Benefits of temperature sensing systems

The main advantages of fiber optic sensors in comparison with classical analogs are the following:

  • Compact size;
  • Very fast response to parameter changes in the environment;
  • Low weight;
  • Multiple parameters can be registered simultaneously by a single distributed sensor;
  • Reliability;
  • Very wide operating temperature range of DTS;
  • Small price per unit length of the sensing system;
  • High sensitivity;
  • Long operating time;
  • The high spatial resolution of temperature sensors;
  • Resistance to chemicals and aggressive environments;
  • DTS is not affected by electromagnetic disturbances;
  • The sensitive part of the fiber sensor does not require connection to power lines.

The processing unit measures the propagation speed and power of both direct and reflected light and determines where the temperature changes. For instance, at a wavelength of 1550 nm, a pulsed generation mode is used with a laser power limit of 10 mW.

Types of sensors for temperature measurement

There are several types of optical fibers, each of which meets certain requirements for its properties, depending on the application due to the fact that the properties of the optical fiber can be varied over a wide range. 

Physical effects on the optical fiber, such as pressure, deformation, temperature change, affect the properties of the fiber at the point of exposure and it is possible to measure the environmental parameters by measuring the change in the properties of the fiber at a given point.

In general, a fiber optic sensor consists of two concentric layers: fiber core and optical coating. The fiber optic light guide part can be protected by a layer of acrylate, plastic, reinforced sheath, etc., depending on the application of this fiber cable.

Thus, distributed fiber optic sensors are perfect for industries related to combustible and explosive materials, such as coal, oil and gas production, etc. for use in fire alarm systems of various structures.

Common applications of DTS systems

Application of distributed temperature sensors includes:

  • fire alarm systems in the road, rail, or service tunnels;
  • thermal monitoring of power cables and overhead transmission lines to optimize production processes;
  • improving the efficiency of oil and gas wells;
  • ensuring the safe working condition of industrial induction melting furnaces;
  • monitoring the tightness of containers with liquefied natural gas on ships in unloading terminals;
  • detection of leaks in dams;
  • temperature control in chemical processes;
  • leak detection in pipelines.

In addition, DTS systems combined with other tools open completely new areas of application. For example, it is possible to design a specialized device – a fire detector based on a distributed fiber optic temperature sensor.

Temperature sensors for fire detection

Detecting a fire in an industrial environment is not an easy task because of the large number of disturbing factors, many of which can be considered by detectors as carriers of fire signs. In addition, dust deposited on the DTS‘ sensitive elements makes it difficult to operate and it can disable them.

It is also necessary to take into account the possible smoldering of the deposited dust, which can also lead to false alarms. The presence of fumes and aerosols makes it impossible to operate smoke optical-electronic fire detectors. The presence of carbon monoxide will trigger gas fire detectors.

Industrial facilities and production are characterized by large volumes of premises, high ceilings, the presence of long tunnels, collectors, mines, inaccessible areas, and premises with a complex configuration and geometry. And in these conditions, it is certainly possible to protect using traditional fire alarm systems, but this involves the use of a large number of detectors, and therefore they have high costs, including installation and maintenance of alarm systems and automation.

It is difficult to select detectors for explosive zones, especially for use in underground operations and mines. Aggressive media are often present in chemical industries. There are also objects of sea and river transport, characterized by the aggressive salt fog.

Oil and gas application

The use of non-electric sensing devices, the use of fiber optic cable allows the DTS to be applied in enterprises of the oil and gas complex, mines, underground operations, chemical industries (including those with aggressive environments), and metallurgy and energy enterprises.

As for oil companies, the active development of high-viscosity oil fields, which imposes strict requirements on the production equipment, and the severe depletion of most oil and gas fields require mining organizations to conduct prospecting and exploration operations, change production technologies and control the technical condition of wells.

The main task for mining companies to increase the well’s production capacity in real-time is to track information about the processes occurring in wells and fields. Solutions based on standard temperature sensors suggest well logging using point measuring instruments, which leads to the inaccuracy of the data obtained. 

The disadvantages of such sensing devices include the inability to fix the distribution of one of the most important parameters of the well – the temperature profile in real-time, as well as the need for power supply, the impact on the measurement results of external electromagnetic fields, labor and time costs required for the departure of the team and performing various operations, including the immersion of the fiber sensor element and its movement along the well, data processing, etc.

DTS as a part of a fiber optic system

The fiber optic sensing system consists of distributed temperature sensors designed to measure temperature along the borehole, and a point-to-point fiber pressure sensor. Optical fibers of a distributed temperature sensing system and pressure sensors can be structurally installed in a single fiber cable.

The fiber optic cable is resistant to mechanical damage. Additional fiber optic cable protection is not required during descent and lifting operations, but the protection of the fiber cable from mechanical damage during descent and lifting operations can be provided by the use of protective coatings.

Where to buy quality temperature sensors?

If you want to obtain a highly efficient distributed temperature sensing system, you should choose the Optromix company. Optromix is a manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for the global market. The company provides the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) products line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) systems, distributed temperature sensing (DTS) systems. 

Distributed temperature system provides continuous underground power lines monitoring of temperatures, detecting hot spots, delivering operational status, condition assessment, and power circuit rating data. This helps operators to optimize the transmission and distribution networks, and reduce the cost of operation and capital.

Usually, the DTS systems can detect the temperature to a spatial resolution of 1 m with precision to within ±1°C at a resolution of 0.01°C. Measurement distances of greater than 30 km can be monitored and some specialized systems can provide even tighter spatial resolutions.
The advantages of working with Optromix:

  • Our DTS system has the superior quality, however, its price is one of the lowest in the market;
  • Optromix is ready to develop DTS systems based on customer’s specifications.

If you are interested in DTS systems and want to learn more, please contact us at

Distributed fiber optic sensing applies an entangled quantum network

FBG sensors for quantum networkQuantum-enhanced metrology is regarded as a popular area of research for years because of its promising applications, varying from atomic clocks to biological imaging. According to the researches, a non-standard distributed sensing system offers significant advantages compared to traditional fiber optic systems.

These researches help a team of scientists from Denmark to carry out an experiment on distributed fiber optic sensing and the benefits of employing an entangled quantum network to detect an averaged phase shift among numerous distributed sensing nodes. The fiber optic sensing technology uses several methods that enable collecting more accurate measurements in different areas.

The purpose of the new study is based on squeezed light and homodyne detection that is now established distributed fiber optic sensing techniques. The team aims at “measurement of a global property of numerous spatially separated objects and investigate whether probing these objects simultaneously with entangled light led to more accurate results than probing them individually”. 

Thus, the application of a quantum network to probe the objects simultaneously allows distributed sensing systems with far higher accuracy than that attainable when examining probes individually. To be more precise, the team measures the phase shifts (set with wave plates to a known value) by the fiber optic system that sends a weak laser beam through and detects the change in the light’s phase quadrature with homodyne detectors.

The benefit of applying distributed fiber optic sensing plays a really important role when it is necessary to measure the property of numerous objects connected in an optical network. Nevertheless, the losses in the network and detectors are required to be kept low in order to successfully raise the accuracy, alternatively, the quantum benefit of distributed sensing disappears.

The researchers succeeded in the experimental demonstration of the benefits connected with employing multi-mode entanglement for distributed fiber optic sensing. The thing is that the benefits have been previously predicted, however, only highly idealized scenarios and experimentally very difficult probe states or detection methods were taken into consideration. The developed fiber optic system demonstrates that these benefits are available even with current noisy sensing technology.

The fiber optic system finds potential applications in various areas of research and technology development. For instance, they provide a high sensitivity of molecular tracking devices, atomic clocks, and optical magnetometry methods. Moreover, the distributed fiber optic sensing gives valuable information about how quantum-enhanced metrology can be reached utilizing readily accessible technologies, for example, squeezed light generation and homodyne detection.

Optromix is a manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for the global market. The company provides the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for the clients. Optromix produces a wide range of fiber optic devices, including cutting-edge customized fiber optic Bragg grating product line and fiber Bragg grating sensor systems. Moreover, Optromix is a top choice among the manufacturers of fiber Bragg grating monitoring systems. If you have any questions, please contact us at