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What are the basic principles of fiber optic distributed sensing?

Fiber optic distributed sensing involves the use of optical fibers to monitor and analyze physical parameters along their entire length. A laser beam is sent through the fiber, and the interaction with the surrounding environment causes changes in the backscattered light. By measuring the properties of the returned light, such as intensity and wavelength, the system can infer variations in temperature and vibrations along the fiber. This enables real-time and continuous monitoring of infrastructure like pipelines, power cables, or environmental conditions in a variety of industries. Fiber optic distributed sensing provides a cost-effective and efficient solution for many applications, especially when many measurement points are necessary.

Is fiber optic sensing expensive?

The cost efficiency of fiber optic distributed sensing lies in its ability to monitor extensive areas using a single optical fiber. This approach eliminates the need for multiple sensors and associated cabling, reducing installation costs significantly. Additionally, the longevity and durability of optical fibers contribute to lower maintenance expenses, as they are less susceptible to environmental factors and wear compared to traditional sensors. The real-time data acquisition and remote monitoring capabilities further enhance cost-effectiveness by minimizing the need for frequent onsite inspections. Overall, the long-term reliability and reduced infrastructure requirements make fiber optic distributed sensing a financially attractive solution for various industries.

In what environments fiber optic sensing is possible?

Fiber optic sensing is adaptable to a wide range of environments, making it a versatile solution for diverse applications. It excels in harsh and challenging conditions, such as extreme temperatures, high electromagnetic interference, and corrosive atmospheres. This resilience allows fiber optic sensors to thrive in industrial settings, including water, oil and gas pipelines, where they can withstand harsh weather conditions and monitor for leaks or structural integrity issues. The technology is equally effective for precise measurements of physical parameters like strain, temperature, and pressure. Its immunity to electromagnetic interference also makes fiber optic sensing suitable for applications in areas with high electrical activity.

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