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Fiber Optic Sensing Association Applauds Rail Study Results


Fiber Optic Sensing Association 
Contact: Mark Uncapher 

WASHINGTON DC - August 3, 2018 - The Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA), the nation’s premier trade association dedicated to fiber optic sensing, today applauded the results of a study completed by the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. entitled Fiber Optic Availability and Opportunity Analysis for North American Railroads.

The study identified broken rail detection, train tracking, monitoring equipment health and track integrity, as well as security and detection of environmental hazards as priority applications for use of fiber optic acoustical detection technology.  Additionally, the research project concluded that potential for cost savings are available to railroads, especially if fiber optic acoustical detection technology is used for multiple applications. 

“The findings of this Federal government study confirm that fiber optic sensing can make significant cost-effective contributions to enhancing rail safety.”  said FOSA Director Mark Uncapher.  “These conclusions offer an authoritative validation of the business case for fiber optic sensing for railroads.”

“These results underscore the cost-effective contributions that new technologies, such as fiber optic sensing, can make to make to improving rail road safety.  “said George Palmer, Head of Innovation at Fotech Solutions Ltd.

“In addition to its general findings, the study contains very specific data quantifying the potential savings to railroads resulting from fiber optic sensing, as compared to alternative technology approaches.” said John Williams, Regional Director for OptaSense in Houston and Vice-Chairman for the Fiber Optic Sensing Association.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) had sponsored an evaluation conducted by Transportation Technology Center, Inc. regarding the opportunity and availability to use Fiber Optic Acoustic Detection (FOAD) in the North American railroad industry.  With the technology, a FOAD system pulses laser light down a fiber optic cable buried near a railroad track and using Rayleigh backscatter, can detect acoustic and seismic signals produced by such events as train movement, rail breaks, wheel impacts, dragging equipment, etc. The objective of the FRA financed project was to determine the viability and applicability of implementing FOAD technology in the North American railroad environment.

FOSA is a non-profit organization created in Washington DC in 2017 with the mission of educating industry, government and the public on the benefits of fiber optic sensing. Through webinars, videos, white papers, public presentations and public policy advocacy, the organization provides information on the use of fiber optic sensing to secure critical facilities, enhance public safety and protect the environment.

FOSA Members include Adelos, AFL, AP Sensing, Asymmetric Technologies, Corning, Ditch Witch, Dura-Line, Fotech Solutions, Frauscher Sensor Technology USA, Hifi Engineering, OFS, Omnisens, OptaSense, OZ Optics, NKT Photonics, Network Integrity Systems and Prysmian. For further information, please visit the FOSA website.

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