OptaSense announce a collaboration with Europe’s biggest rail operator, Deutsche Bahn Netz AG, to validate a set of fibre sensing tools designed to reduce the operating cost of rail track operation. The 18 month collaboration will see the validation of bespoke software tools which record and report train and track events along Deutsche Bahn’s network.
The project, which commenced this month was awarded to OptaSense in November 2013 following a competitive 10 month tender process, will verify the performance of OptaSense distributed acoustic sensing (“DAS”) to provide alerts and operational data for a large range of events. The collaboration will begin with eight priority applications which will be tested by DB Netz in all weather conditions over 18 months, with a view to giving DB Netz insights into the future of railway sensing:
The collaboration will report on the potential of DAS technology to reduce the number and cost of different sensor systems required to monitor the various train and track events. Commenting on the scope of work Mr Joern Schlichting, of Deutsche Bahn Netz AG, said : “We are very interested by the opportunities for this exciting technology, and believe that fibre optic sensing has the potential to replace many of our trackside sensors – greatly reducing the cost of running our network. Following technical trials in 2012 where we first validated the detection capability of OptaSense DAS technology we now seek to prove the business impact of this technology to deliver a multi-event detection capability within one trackside sensor deployment. We look forward to working with OptaSense over the next 18 months and using their sonar software and algorithm expertise to provide us with business tools that help us operate more efficiently.”