Fiber Sensing, also known as ‘distributed sensing’, is a technology that enables continuous measurements of seismic waves in real time over the entire length of a fiber optic cable. Let’s take a look at its applications together.
Not only zero internetInternet The word comes from the fusion of the English terms international and net, i.e. international network. This term refers to the worldwide computer network that users all over the world can access via a computer to transmit and share data and information. latencyLatency This term indicates the time lapse between the stimulation of a system and the observation of the resulting effect. In telecommunications, by extension, it refers to the time it takes for a data packet to travel from the source computer to the destination computer. and high bandwidth: fiber optics has applications that most people are unaware of. Have you ever heard of Fiber Sensing or Distributed Sensing? FTTHFTTH “Fiber to the Home” is the technology that connects POPs, located in exchanges, to end users’ property units with fiber optics. is not only capable of transmitting information at the speed of light, but also of constantly monitoring the state of the networkNetwork In computer language, the term network defines a set of hardware and software devices which, when linked together, enable the exchange and sharing of resources, data or information. In a computer network, the devices that generate, route and terminate data are called network nodes. and the surrounding environment.
Let’s discover what it’s all about:
How Fiber Sensing works
Anyone familiar with the world of fiber optics is well aware that, in addition to being a powerful means of telecommunication, it can also be used to create sensors and meters.
The precision and speed of fiber optic transmission allows us to take continuous measurements in real time over the entire length of a fiber optic cable simply by monitoring any disturbances – so minimal that they would escape human perception – in the transmission of light pulses. By combining this feature with the support of advanced algorithms, optical fiberOptical fiber A cable made of glass fiber through which a light signal is transmitted over long distances for broadband network access. Compared to copper cables, optical fiber can transmit signals much faster, up to 40 Gigabits per second. It is therefore ideal for quickly transferring large amounts of data; it is also unaffected by external interference (electromagnetic interference, temperature variations, etc.). While fiber optics certainly offers the advantage of fast, high-quality and secure data transmission, its high installation cost is a drawback for network builders. Read the news to find out more: “Optical fiber, what it is and how it works”. is transformed into a monitoring tool during highly impactful events, such as earthquakes or energy losses, through to problems on transport lines. Our latest project is the result of the possibilities offered by Fiber Sensing: Meglio.
Meglio, the system for monitoring earthquakes in Italy
Meglio is an experimental project resulting from the collaboration between Open Fiber, INGV, INRiM, Bain & Company and Metallurgica Bresciana SpA.
Our goal is to use Fiber Sensing to create an earthquake detection system using artificial intelligence and machine learning. With its unique landscapes and extremely high biodiversity, Italy is a wonderful country, however its high level of seismic activity, especially in mountainous areas, has always been an enemy to be reckoned with and has rewritten history on several occasions.
With Meglio, we at Open Fiber are providing our fiber optic network to measure and monitor seismic movements.
The task of collecting measurements will be entrusted to a pair of ultra-stable lasers installed on underground fiber optic segments. Once collected, the data will gradually be sent to a processing system tasked with synthesising it so that it can be easily used. This makes it possible to keep track of seismic activity in a specific area, ensuring accurate and timely monitoring.
Listening to seismic waves with fiber optic sensors
Optical fiber, thanks to its fundamental characteristics, is the ideal complement for such a project.
First, its transmission speed guarantees real-time monitoring of the slightest movements in the area with extreme precision.
Secondly, Open Fiber’s infrastructure will allow data to be collected domestically, making it a unique sensor. Moreover, installation of FTTH fiber is steadily progressing and the project to cover more than 7,000 municipalities is ongoing.
Finally, optical fibres are not subject to electromagnetic interference and are not affected by changes in temperature or pressure, a feature that always guarantees maximum precision in data and information retrieval.