How Core Sectors are Utilising Fibre Optic Sensors to Improve Operational Efficiency| By |Abhishek Budholiya

The advent of distributed fibre optic sensors has greatly influenced the overall operational structure of various core industries including gas, heavy industries, defence and military, energy, railways and telecom. Unlike traditional technologies, distributed fibre optic sensing comes with limitless capabilities that offer advanced monitoring solutions with unmatched benefits even when accessing inhospitable environment. According to a report published by Future Market Insights (FMI), the global market for distributed fibre optic sensor was valued at US$ 1.1 Bn in 2015 and is projected to witness a compound annual growth rate of around 10.4% between 2016 and 2026.

Of late, government organisations are heavily procuring and utilising distributed fibre optics while their application continues to be robust in private sectors. Such new-age technologies help both private and public organisations to reduce the impending cost of major projects. The aforementioned factor is observed to support the growth of distributed fibre optic sensor market in the medium term.

The Mining Sector to Create Lucrative Business Opportunities

Limitations of the existing technologies have compelled the mining sector to opt for solutions that are technologically more advanced, which is why vendors and manufacturers of fibre optic sensors are actively focusing on developing products specifically to cater mining requirements. Optical fibre is pliable, light, and has high resistance to electromagnetic interference (EMI), making it a flexible cost-effective, and apt sensor component. Optic fibre is integrated into communication infrastructure structure, cables and pipelines. Optical fibre is replacing traditional single-point sensors as they are easier to install, maintain and calibrate. Moreover, assets that were previously difficult to monitor owing to several environmental complexities are now easily accessible thanks to the arrival of fibre optic sensors.

Why Choosing Distributed Sensing Technology Serves Better

Distributed sensing reduces integration complexities by replacing thousands of sensors with a single optical fibre system. In addition, the innate distributed sensing characteristics of fibre optic sensors can also be applied while designing unique forms of sensors, which are far more efficient than conventional sensor technologies.

Temperature Fibre Optic Sensors a Top Category

FMI’s report also identifies that demand for temperature sensing fibre optic sensors has been significantly high in recent years and is expected to continue a similar trend in 2017 and beyond. Meanwhile, the popularity of acoustic or vibration fibre optic sensing has also grown in various industrial verticals. The distributed fibre optic sensor market in North America is anticipated to remain highly attractive for business. In 2015, the region’s market commanded for over 31% market share. Meanwhile, demand for such fibre optic sensor solutions in Asia Pacific excluding Japan has gained significant traction over the past couple of years. The region’s distributed fibre optic sensor market is expected to witness a strong 12.3% CAGR during 2016 to 2026

Sensor Highway Ltd., QinetiQ Group plc., FISO Technologies Inc., OSENSA Innovations Corp., AFL Global, Brugg Kabel AG, Omnisens S.A., and Lockheed Martin Corporation are some of the prominent manufacturers of distributed fibre optic sensor. Many of these companies are implementing innovative methods in product developments and emphasising on further operational expansion across various parts of globe through mergers and acquisitions.

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