Sensors monitor underground gasification process

A cost-effective technique that uses a distributed-temperature-sensing (DTS) fiberoptic system will monitor the in situ conversion of coal into gas in a 600-m-deep subterranean well. Developed by York Sensors (York, England) for trial in Spain, the system uses specialty fiberoptic cable to withstand reaction-zone temperatures that can reach 1100°C. The DTS system incorporates an optical time-domain reflectometer, microprocessor, and one to six sensors consisting of loops of standard teleco

Sensors monitor underground gasification process

A cost-effective technique that uses a distributed-temperature-sensing (DTS) fiberoptic system will monitor the in situ conversion of coal into gas in a 600-m-deep subterranean well. Developed by York Sensors (York, England) for trial in Spain, the system uses specialty fiberoptic cable to withstand reaction-zone temperatures that can reach 1100°C. The DTS system incorporates an optical time-domain reflectometer, microprocessor, and one to six sensors consisting of loops of standard telecommunications-grade multimode fiber to measure temperatures at 1-m intervals down the well. Within 20-30 years, the underground coal-gasification process is expected to recover gasified coal from closed pits.

IBM introduces dense wavelength-division-multiplexing technology

A commercial prototype fiberoptic multiplexer that enables the transmission of 20 simultan eous data streams, including text, video, audio, and image files, over a single fiber has been introduced by IBM (Yorktown Heights, NY). Using wavelength-division-multiplexing technology, the "MuxMaster" allows up to ten 200-Mbits/s simultaneous two-way channels to be transmitted over a 50-km-long fiber. IBM`s Paul Green said that using the MuxMaster increases the fiber capacity by twentyfold, with potential savings of 95% of the cost of leased fiber.

The technology is currently undergoing testing at Morgan Stanley and Bank of Australia to support rapid disaster recovery by providing real-time duplication of data between computing sites on a round-the-clock basis.

Sira awarded space-vehicle-monitor contract

The European Space Agency has given Sira (Kent, England) a contract to develop a low-cost, totally passive, highly flexible fiberoptic spacecraft-monitoring system. The system will provide mission controllers with visual evidence of the status of on-board deployment mechanisms and replace present nonvisual technology that uses unreliable binary microswitches. Optical multiplexing of six or more optical-fiber-transmitted images to one or more smart sensors with on-chip processing capability will be assessed, according to Sira`s Mike Cutter.

Daimler-Benz and Northern Telecom to develop optical networks

A joint-venture company has been set up between Daimler-Benz (Munich, Germany) and Northern Telecom (Toronto, Canada) to develop products for optical networks and technol ogy for multimedia, local-area networks, and satellite communications. The venture, targeting the telecommunications market, will establish a development center in Germany. Northern Telecom will hold 50% of the shares, and the remaining shares will be held by Daimler-Benz.

Andrew Corp. gets Hong Kong subway fiberoptic system contract

A $45 million contract to build an underground fiber/coax-based cellular and paging system in the Hong Kong subway system has been awarded to Andrew Corp. (Orland Park, IL). The system will use Andrew`s integrated fiberoptic and radiating cable system with more than 100 miles of coaxial cable, 29 miles of fiberoptic cable, 100 RF amplifiers, 133 paging amplifiers, and dozens of fiberoptic transceivers at more than 40 sites.

Also in the news . . .

Corning Inc. (Corning, NY) will invest more than $150 million to increase the capacity of its optical-fiber manufacturing facility in Wilmington, NC. The expansion includes new building construction and the installation of new manufacturing technologies. . . . Optical Data Systems (Richardson, TX), participating in a multiyear $297.1 million contract, will provide fiber distributed-data interface modules and asynchronous-transfer-mode switches to the Air Force Communications Systems Center (Oklahoma City, OK). . . . Japan-based NEC and Itochu will jointly share an estimated $40 million to supply Singapore Telecom with fiberoptic synchronous digital hierarchy transmission equipment.

Eugene D. Jungbluth

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