We thought that Big Brother passed by cameras, microphones, drones and satellites. But no: with fiber optics and sophisticated software algorithms, it is possible to remotely detect and monitor events of very different types.
Fiber Sensing, also called “distributed sensing”, is a technology that allows continuous measurements – vibrations or sounds – in real time along the entire length of a fiber optic cable. The fiber becomes a sensor: the optical signal detects what happens along the connection, with a resolution in frequency, space and time very high, not achievable by conventional sensors; algorithms interpret the signals and return information on, for example, leaks in energy pipelines, problems on railways and subways, traffic, but also on events that in this way it is possible (at least in part) prevent, such as earthquakes.
Fiber optics and sensoring are at the center of the project “Meglio” by Open Fiber, network infrastructure operator, in collaboration with Pangea Formazione, Ingv (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology), INRiM (National Institute of Metrological Research) and Metallurgica Bresciana, for the realization of an innovative system of fiber sensing capable of detecting earthquakes through fiber optics. In this case the fiber detects small variations that cause phase changes in the light signal, interpreted by Open Fiber systems. The system is in the testing phase, but it is already very interesting.
This post is also available in: Italian