Monitoring Critical Infrastructure with Optical Fiber Sensors and the ONMSi: Accurately detecting intrusion, open access points, and thefts

Monitoring Critical Infrastructure with Optical Fiber Sensors and the ONMSi: Accurately detecting intrusion, open access points, and thefts
Monitoring Critical
Infrastructure with
Optical Fiber Sensors
and the ONMSi
Accurately detecting intrusion, open access points, and thefts
Fiber networks are best known for enabling high-speed data communications. However, since
optical fibers are bend-sensitive, especially at certain wavelengths, they are also effective
solutions for sensor applications. This case study highlights an application where fiber was
used with an optical sensor to monitor intrusion in critical infrastructure operated by a public
services utility.
A water company in Europe had optical cable installed along their
The challenge was to develop a solution to monitor the status of
pipeline network in order to provide internal data services to their
each manhole to ensure they were not being accessed except for
various remote sites such as technical communications to operate the
authorized onsite service. In some locations, a manhole flooding alarm
company’s drinking water infrastructure and services. The utility also
had to be included in the monitoring.
found it was able to address needs for infrastructure monitoring, such
as maintaining manhole security, throughout their service area.
The Challenge
Utility providers are constantly challenged with ensuring security at
infrastructure access points and, in this case, providing safe water for
the communities they serve. Threats to municipal or regional water
systems, that often include pipelines and distribution sites in remote
areas, commonly fall into three categories:
Company officials had heard about the use of optical transmission
fiber in sensor applications, and they were interested in finding a
sensor solution that leveraged existing dark fiber. They also needed a
solution that was passive and without additional power requirements.
The Solution
For this application, Viavi Solutions™ partnered with Grid-Cop®, the
developer of a patented, passive, fiber-based sensor solution designed
specifically for critical infrastructure monitoring in civil and military
yy Illegal access to manholes for purposes of water contamination
areas. This solution was ideal to monitor the status of manholes.
yy Manholes accidentally left open after service
As shown in Figure 1, multiple sensors are daisy-chained on a single,
yy Theft of manhole covers and infrastructure components housed in
non-dedicated optical fiber. At each local sensing site, an optical
coupler sends a small tapped amount of signal via a bending device
within the sensor onto a reflector. If the manhole is opened, or if
Case Study
water depth exceeds a maximum level, the sensor creates a localized
yy Virtually infinite scalability — each sensor daisy chain connects to one
optical switch port at the OTU
bend in the fiber within the sensor. The strong reflection initially
generated by the reflector disappears.
yy Improved service delivery to customers and improved SLA performance
yy Lower infrastructure management and risk-insurance costs
“In 18 months of operation in our pipeline infrastructure, the system
has extensively demonstrated its faultless operation and high-grade
reliability in a harsh environment of low temperatures and moisture.
GridCop and the Viavi ONMSi platform are the cornerstones of a
proactive infrastructure management and surveillance system which
puts us at the top of our sector and which we are quite proud of,”
concludes a senior executive of the water company.
The Viavi ONMSi Solution
ONMSi can scale to different network sizes, applications, and
complexities. The base system consists of an OTU equipped with an
OTDR test module, optical switch, and basic software that runs on a
PC or laptop. Up to 24 fiber routes, totaling more than 2,000 possible
Fiber manhole sensor
GridCop optical sensors or sensing points, can be monitored with a
To monitor these sensors, Viavi deployed its ONMSi optical network
monitoring solution, which consists of optical test units (OTUs) that
are each equipped with an optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR)
and a multiport optical switch. The OTDR monitors the return signal
single OTU equipped with a 1x24 optical switch. GIS mapping software
can be integrated to translate alarms to physical locations. Technicians
and managers can access the system using web-enabled smart devices
with automated alarm notifications provided via text or e-mail.
from the reflectors in sensors mounted in each manhole. When
compared to a reference trace taken when all manholes are not in
alarm status, any change in the reflector return signal trace triggers
an alarm. SMS or e-mail messages notify technicians and managers
on call for immediate responses, providing alarm and GIS maps-based
alarm/sensor/manhole location information.
OTDR reference/alarm trace compare Web-based map to alarm location
The solution designed by GridCop and Viavi monitors 80+ sensors
distributed over a distance of 100+ km on a single, non-dedicated
fiber that can simultaneously carry normal traffic.
Optical test unit
Optical fiber link monitoring
The Results
Additional monitored routes
The water company achieved multiple objectives by implementing the
joint GridCop/Viavi solution:
To additional
manholes in route
yy A strong and reliable security system without additional power
Manhole sensor
yy Accurate detection within less than a minute from the time of intrusion
Contact Us
+1 844 GO VIAVI
(+1 844 468 4284)
To reach the Viavi office nearest you,
Viavi solution architecture
© 2015 Viavi Solutions Inc.
Product specifications and descriptions in this
document are subject to change without notice.
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