Technologies

To offer you a wider range of sensors and solutions, we choose to work with different technologies:
  • Optical fiber
  • Vibrating fiber
  • Electromagnetism

Doing so allows us to find the best solutions for our clients specific and varying needs. Field tested and time proven, a variety of sensors have already been developed and implemented following years of application driven solutions. However, with each new challenge that is presented, our engineers and R&D are always ready to develop new or custom sensors, capable of adapting to a customers most precise specifications and environmental requirements. Fiber optical, vibrating wire, and electromagnetic sensors are not new technologies. Time and bottom lines have proven the practicality and cost effectiveness of these approaches. However, the applications with which they are utilized are evolving each day.


Optical Fiber Sensors

 

What it is:

An optical fiber is a flexible string made of extruded glass capable of transmitting light from one end to the other. It is extremely small (250µm, thinner than a hair) and totally passive: it does not transport energy other than light and does not need any power supply.
The fiber can be protected by elements, making an optical fiber cable just as strong as a conventional cable.

Applications:

Downhole, pipeline stress monitoring, leak detection (pipeline, LNG or other), LNG tanks, pig tracking, load monitoring, SURF monitoring, offshore structures, intrusion monitoring, civil engineering

Benefits:
  • Immune to EM fields
  • Safe in explosive environments
  • Long term monitoring (no calibration or maintenance)
  • Passive sensors (no power supply)
  • Multiplexing (up to 40 sensors per fiber)
How it works:

There are 2 different kinds of optical fiber sensors, working on different phenomenon.

FBG Sensors:

A Fiber Bragg Grating is an optical element that can be implemented locally inside a fiber. It has the property of reflecting only one wavelength while transmitting all the others. The reflected wavelength depends on the properties of the fiber locally (strain and temperature), therefor the measurement of the wavelength gives out information.

Distributed sensors:

A distributed sensor is a sensor capable a making a measurement every feet over more than 15 miles  equivalent to more than 80 000 sensors!

It uses the fiber itself as a sensor, by analyzing the light backscattered throughout its length. A laser pulse is sent inside the fiber, and small portions of energy will be reflected while going through. The analysis of this reflected light gives us a lot of information, like temperature, strain, pressure, acoustics or vibrations.

 


Vibrating Wire Sensors

 

What it is:

A vibrating wire sensor is a sensor that uses the vibration frequency of a wire to make measurements. This technology is able to measure a wide variety of effects: strain, stress, displacement, load, force, pressure…

Applications:

Civil engineering structures, bridges, dams, dikes, nuclear power plants, power line pillars, massive concrete structures.

Benefits:
  • Long term monitoring (40 years of data)
  • Well known technology
How it works:

The wire is tied to two separate parts. Two electromagnets are located close to the wire, one to put it in vibration, the other to monitor the frequency of the vibration. In order to compensate mechanical effects from thermal effects, a temperature probe is always embedded inside the sensor.

We recommend to embed the vibrating wire sensors inside the structure (inside the concrete) to be able to measure the strains and stresses of the structure itself, therefore transforming it into a smart-structure.

 


Electromagnetic sensors

 

What it is:

An electromagnetic sensor is a sensor that uses the properties of electric and magnetic fields in order to make a measurement. Thanks to this technology, we are able to measure the water content of the environment around the probes of the sensor.

Applications:

dams, dike, soil surveillance, impermeability checks, monitoring of concrete shrinkage

How it works:

The sensors’ probes are installed in the material that needs to be monitored. An ElectroMagnetic pulse is sent to the sensor through the probes. We then monitor the EM field evolution with time in order to recorded information, like the permittivity of the soil.