Brillouin Distributed Optical Fibre Sensing is a powerful lightwave technology for measuring and mapping temperatures, deformations and pressures in thousands of industrial, civil and environmental applications using a sensing fibre cable installed along the asset to be monitored and an interrogator equipment to sweep a “virtual sensor” and measure temperature (strain) individually at any cable point.
PULSe (Pervasive Ubiquitous Lightwave Sensor) is a research project funded by the European Commission under the HORIZON 2020 Framework Programme, under the Fast-Track-to-Innovation Pilot, headed by CNR and involving 5 partners from 4 different countries, with a strong involvement of small-and-medium-enterprises (SMEs).
PULSe’s objective is to optimize, industrialize and secure the conditions for full market exploitation of the first cost-effective Brillouin distributed sensing solution based on a synergy of innovative interrogator equipment, strain sensing cable, data processing software and open-access market take-up support tools.
Brillouin can be an ideal pervasive sensor for long-range distributed sensing (simultaneous individual measurements at different locations) using inexpensive fibres; it can be also an ideal ubiquitous solution because of its intrinsic safety (no sparks in explosion/fire risk areas), immunity to high-voltage and interferences, resistance to moisture and corrosion, bio-compatibility and miniaturization.
The first generations of novel Brillouin equipment could not match the price reduction expectations for a wider ‘mass-scale’ market. This has led many potential customers to seek alternative low-cost solutions, or waiting for a drop of the price barrier. The synergy of cost-effective equipment, easy-to-apply sensors, processing software and accessible know-how could boost the diffusion of Brillouin sensing in a range of different markets with well-established and new application domains.
Project coordinator: Gabriele Bolognini – CNR