OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, wins two Queen’s Awards - for International Trade and for Engineering Innovation 2014

21 Apr 2014

Farnborough, 21 April 2014: OptaSense, the global leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), announces that it has been presented with both the Queen’s Award for International Trade and the Queen’s Award for Engineering Innovation.

The awards are conferred annually by HM Queen Elizabeth II, on the advice of the Prime Minister, to organisations with outstanding performance in international trade, innovation and sustainable development. They celebrate and encourage excellence in UK business.

OptaSense has won the Queen’s Award for Innovation for its ground-breaking DAS technology which turns standard fibre-optic cable into an array of thousands of virtual microphones right along the fibre length. This enables customers to ‘hear’ everything that is happening in and around their asset; OptaSense uses advanced sonar signal processing techniques, originally developed by QinetiQ, to deliver customers with real-time Decision Ready Data™.

This data is used to monitor and protect critical national infrastructure, for example preventing attacks on oil pipelines or to increase the productivity and safety of oil wells by improved measurements without intervening in the well itself. Wherever OptaSense is deployed it enables customers to use real time data to improve operational safety, enhance security, increase productivity and ultimately deliver improved profitability.

It also wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade having significantly grown overseas sales earnings over the last three years and is now operating in more than 40 countries, most recently in China, Colombia and Iraq.

As part of QinetiQ Group, OptaSense has benefited from QinetiQ’s heritage in signal processing expertise and world class facilities to develop its distributed fibre sensing capabilities which are now being used in a number of commercial applications.

Utilising its proprietary Distributed Acoustic Sensing technology, Optasense provides oil well optimisation capabilities like hydraulic fracture profiling and vertical seismic profiling services to the upstream oil & gas industry. In addition its technology is used to provide security and operational process monitoring to long linear assets like pipelines and transport networks.

Leo Quinn, QinetiQ Group CEO, said: “OptaSense exemplifies how long term investment in science and technology capability in the UK can lead to world beating engineering innovation. Our philosophy of open innovation where we invest alongside government and commercial partners into research, development and solutions engineering has helped to develop OptaSense into a commercial business capable of changing the way multiple industries will operate in future. QinetiQ is proud of our British engineers and scientists, who lead the world in many areas of technology.”

Magnus McEwen-King, Managing Director of OptaSense, said: “We are delighted to be recognised with two Queen’s Awards which are testament to the hard work and commitment of all those who work for and with OptaSense. We believe this technology will transform the way global energy and transport industries move product and people around more efficiently and safely. We are already providing the owners of oil wells, pipelines, roads, railways and borders with the ability to monitor every meter of these assets. Fibre optic cables are already in place next to most of the world’s critical arteries and we believe that by converting the world’s fibre optic cables into a distributed sensor network we can build The Earth’s Nervous System™.”

Since its creation in 2007, OptaSense has grown to 120 full time employees with overseas offices in Dubai, USA, Canada and Australia, as well as investing into UK research development and manufacturing capabilities. OptaSense is headquartered in Farnborough, Hampshire, and has its manufacturing and research facilities in Bristol, Somerset and Winfrith, Dorset.

For further information

QinetiQ Press Office – pressoffice@qinetiq.com / +44 (0) 1252 39 3500
Rebecca Mitchell, Maitland – rmitchell@maitland.co.uk / +44 (0)207 379 5151

Notes for Editors

About OptaSense

OptaSense is managed as an autonomous subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group.
OptaSense is a platform technology which has applications in a number of markets, including infrastructure security where the technology is already in use to monitor 10,000kms of assets, principally providing leak detection and third party intrusion detection for oil and gas pipelines.
OptaSense is the World leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing and operating in 40 countries globally with operations across multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Defence & Security, Transport and Utilities. It is managed as an autonomous subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group.

About QinetiQ

A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its domain knowledge to provide technical support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ's unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organisations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments, intelligence services and security agencies.
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OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, wins two Queen’s Awards - for International Trade and for Engineering Innovation 2014