Global installations mapped by Fiber Optic Sensing Association

Nov. 17, 2017
Interactive map shows more than 1,300 distributed fiber optic sensing (DFOS) installations around the world. 
(Image credit: FOSA)
The logo for the Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA) at
The logo for the Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA) at

The Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA) released details on more than 1,300 installations of distributed fiber optic sensing (DFOS) around the world. The data reflects the largest representative sample ever published.

In an interactive map, FOSA provides a geographic breakdown of global DFOS installations in more than 75 countries. Key insights include:

- China had more deployments than any other nation with roughly 11.3% of all identified installations, followed closely by Germany at 9.4%. The United States came in third with roughly 6.5%, and South Korea was fourth with 4.8% of installations.

- Assets most frequently monitored using DFOS included power cables (22.2%), tunnels (20%), pipelines (13.5%), and perimeters (8.4%).

- The more than 1,300 identified installations span more than 20,000 miles in length (33,300 km).

“According to our data, the United States is well behind China and Germany in terms of total deployments of fiber optic sensing. We are committed to raising awareness of this powerful technology, which can help bring U.S. infrastructure and asset security into the 21st century,” said Mark Uncapher, Director of FOSA. “It is critical that American industry and policy makers understand fiber optic sensing so we can ensure that the United States keeps pace with other global technology leaders.”

Related: FOSA to educate and raise awareness of fiber-optic sensing benefits, by senior editor Gail Overton

Related: Fiber-optic Sensing: Transforming FOG coil manufacture from an art to a science, an article from General Photonics

Related: Stanford taps installed fiber-optic networks for earthquake sensing, by senior editor Gail Overton

Fiber optic sensing enables highly precise remote monitoring of physical assets, including power cables, pipelines, railways, international borders and critical infrastructure. These capabilities are unlocked through the measurement of deviations of light in a fiber optic cable occurring as a result of acoustic, temperature or strain signals.

Industries that already leverage DFOS include transportation, energy, security, oil and gas, and defense. FOSA maintains an extensive list of case studies.

The new data reflects information provided by FOSA member companies’ reference lists. Reference lists are comprised of projects determined by a company to be representative of its total deployments. FOSA members surveyed include AP Sensing, Asymmetric Technologies, Fotech Systems, LIOS Technology, Omnisens, OptaSense and OZ Optics. Oil and gas down-hole applications are not represented in this survey.

Source: FOSA

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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