FOSA Installation Considerations
Distributed fiber optic sensing techniques, such as DAS, DSS or DTS are powerful tools for the monitoring of long, linear assets. Consequently, these approaches fit perfectly with specific requirements of the highways industry, where they can fulfill objectives in various areas:
- Traffic monitoring applications including: Average traffic speed measurements, Automated queue detection, Automated congestion detection, Vehicle count (where the fiber runs perpendicularly underneath the road), Support for autonomous vehicle management
- Mobility applications including Average journey times
- Hazard detection applications including Fire detection in tunnels, Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of civil structures like bridges and tunnels, Road damage detection, Road weather/condition change detection
This list covers the majority of applications delivered by our members today – in the near future an expansion to other applications covering both condition monitoring of the road surface will be possible together with more detailed metrics and visibility of the traffic flow. In each of these applications, distributed fiber optic sensing offers clear benefit in the ability to cover a wide area from a central monitoring point, and can often achieve this by re-purposing spare fibers in the existing highways communication network. Optimum performance for any particular sensing objective is dependent on cable type, installation method, cable position, and the environmental conditions of the site. This applies to both existing cables and those installed specifically for distributed fiber optic sensing.
This document provides guidance on best practices for the selection and installation of cables for fiber optic sensing in the highways domain.