What is Distributed Strain and Temperature Sensing (DSTS/DTSS)?

Distributed Strain and Temperature Sensing (DSTS), also known as DTSS, represents an advanced fiber optic sensing technology that provides detailed measurements of strain and temperature variations along the length of a fiber optic cable. This innovative approach enables a single optical fiber to replace numerous individual strain or temperature sensors, offering comprehensive monitoring capabilities.


DSTS/DTSS Operational Mechanism

DSTS/DTSS devices operate by emitting laser light into an optical fiber, with a portion of the light being backscattered to the device for analysis. Various techniques such as Brillouin scattering, Rayleigh scattering, or specialized Fiber Bragg Gratings embedded in the fiber are employed to observe local strains and temperatures. By precisely measuring changes in the backscatter profile, the applied strain or temperature variation can be accurately calculated. For effective monitoring, the sensing cable must be designed and installed to transfer the deformation or temperature changes of the monitored asset to the fiber. Different configurations of DSTS/DTSS can be implemented using combinations of fibers, such as loose jacketed fibers for temperature sensing and tightly coupled fibers for strain sensing.

DSTS/DTSS Applications

DSTS/DTSS finds widespread application in monitoring large structures where changes in strain or temperature may indicate potential failures. Structures such as pipelines, dams, levees, bridges, tunnels, roadways, and power lines can all benefit from DSTS/DTSS monitoring. Additionally, industrial process monitoring and fire detection in expansive buildings or tunnels can benefit from the precise measurements provided by DSTS/DTSS.

DSTS/DTSS Benefits

  • Optimization for Monitoring: Depending on the installation, DSTS/DTSS can be tailored for monitoring strain, temperature, or both, offering flexibility in addressing specific monitoring needs.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Monitoring structures over distances of up to 65 km (40 miles) can be achieved more economically compared to other technologies.
  • Enhanced Coverage: Many DSTS/DTSS devices can operate bidirectionally, effectively doubling the coverage area and providing comprehensive monitoring capabilities.

In summary, Distributed Strain and Temperature Sensing technology offer a sophisticated solution for comprehensive monitoring of structural integrity, industrial processes, and fire detection, with the ability to deliver precise measurements over extensive distances.