Acoustic sensing systems use cables (Optic fiber cables) to deliver distributed strain sensing. Here, the sensing element is the optical fiber cable. Measurements are made and processed in parts by using an attached optoelectronic device. Acoustic frequency strain signals can thus be detected over large distances and in harsh environments.
What Are Optical Fiber Telecoms?
Optical fiber telecoms are not just data pipes; they are also real-time data generators. These massive optical fiber cables carry the internet. The fiber telecoms networks run side by side with other critical linear infrastructure in the area, such as water, electricity, and gas. The cables also run through roads and rail infrastructure.
Existing fiber telecom networks can improve critical linear infrastructure’s resiliency and maintenance efficiency in public spaces and cities. You do not need a truck roll, field enclosure, sensor, or power supply installed with optic cables. The optic cables are the sensor and the power supply.
The Technology Associated With Acoustic Sensing
The real-time data collection is done using Vibration Detection and Ranging (VIDAR) technology in cities with digitization engines running in real-time.VIDAR is capable of acoustic sensing and detecting tiny vibrations from small objects that your eyes cannot see.
VIDAR uses telecommunication fiber cables to detect vibrations of any nearby objects such as pedestrians, cars, and drills. This technology is more significant as it is not affected by white caps and other effects that impact the technology, such as radar, as it is designed to operate optically.
The detected vibrations are analyzed and categorized on a FiberSense platform known as SuperSoniq. The platform is similar to the human ears. It has the capability of detecting objects and recognizing events in real-time. The detection can be done either during the day or at night.
However, this technology does not see faces or hear voices.
How VIDAR Works
VIDAR is mostly used as a system to search for objects in the marines. It is because it can cover a larger ocean or sea area, finding objects that had sunk even on the bottom of the sea. VIDAR detects objects uniquely selected. Operators thus can identify these objects.
After acoustic sensing and detection, VIDAR sends a thumbnail of the object and its location.
Operators view the thumbnail on their maps, usually attached to the mission system of an aircraft. If the object detected is of interest, the operators select it. Afterward, sensors are automatically cued to inspect the object closely.
Uses of VIDAR
Detection of threats: VIDAR is used in marine environments where risks come from various sources, such as vessel anchoring, seismic events, etc. the system is ideal for operations and maintenance as it does not need you to deploy any active sensors.
VIDAR has helped in gaining intelligence, in real-time, on events that could damage assets. It is largely involved in mining, which is used to protect underground utilities from being accidentally hit during the mining works.
Other applications include; detection of water leaks, bursts, or unauthorized digging near gas pipes.
Acoustic sensing service allows the detection of multiple threats from a single platform. All happening events can be detected in real-time. The main improvement of this service is that it does not require the installation of sensors.