Trespass, theft from lines and track damage a growing concern
OptaSense, the company that protects the UK’s key infrastructure by turning fibre-optic cables into listening devices, will be sharing their vision for protecting our railways at the upcoming Transport Security Expo in London.
Fibre optic cables are already present near our rail networks, and the OptaSense system measures changes in the acoustic field along the whole length of the fibre, potentially stretching for thousands of miles. The technology means it is possible to detect a source event in real time, as well as analysing and locating it, from a rock fall, to theft of materials to damage to the track.
The company is already working with various rail companies in the US, and are now bringing their technology to the UK market. One recent study estimated overall theft of copper costs the UK economy £770m a year. With CCTV and fences being prohibitively expensive to construct and monitor, OptaSense's monitoring system offers a new solution to a problem that affects our entire 10,000 mile rail network.
Magnus McEwen-King, MD for OptaSense said:
‘Railways keep Britain working and we are helping to keep them working. Ensuring our transport links and other national infrastructure are able to function efficiently and without interruption is vital to building and maintaining our economy. OptaSense converts customers’ existing fibre networks into a real time monitoring system giving rail operators decision ready information at a fraction of the cost of conventional sensor technologies.’
OptaSense will be exhibiting across the two days of the event, which takes place November 14-15 at the Olympia, London. Peter Bradley of OptaSense will deliver a speech on maintaining the integrity of railway infrastructure at 1335 on 15th Nov.
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