Success at SPIE Photonics Europe 2018

Prague, 9 May 2018. Optical Networks Department members between 23rd and 27th April 2018 in Strasbourg attended SPIE Photonics Europe 2018 conference where they present developed functional sample of phase OTDR system during „Innovation Village Exhibition“. The primary application of the instrument is an early warning system before potential fatal fibre damage or cut. The CLDS-PhiOTDR represents critical infrastructure protective element. This innovation impressed evaluators and community at the exhibition and won second price in multilateral project category.

Photo from the conference

Product Description

CESNET CLDS-PhiOTDR (CLDS – Czech Light Distributed Sensing) developed by Petr Münster and its team from optical networks department is a modular and efficient hardware solution for acoustic/mechanical vibrations sensing in the vicinity of optical fibres. The system is based on the principle of a phase-sensitive optical time domain reflectometer and enables to create from conventional telecommunication fibres a sensor network with a resolution of two nearby events with precision of tens of meters. Compared to commercially available solutions, CLDS-PhiOTDR offers a cost-effective solution with the option of setting up/optimization partial components at all levels of the system (electrical, optical, application layer). The user can thus access the information/settings of laser module, optical amplifier, or PLL (Phase Lock Loop). Currently, stand-alone unit is being developed with the ability to send and process data in the cloud.

Short Description of the Optical Part

Distributed fibre optic sensing system CLDS-PhiOTDR is based on the Rayleigh scattering. In general, basic scheme is similar to telecommunication OTDR which is an instrument that analyses the light loss in an optical fibre in optical network trouble shooting. Since the laser source spectral width of OTDR is relatively broad (from GHz to THz range), the back-scatter signal is insensitive to all events caused by temperature or acoustic vibrations. Using the narrow line-width laser source the Rayleigh back-scatter becomes sensitive to acoustic/mechanical events, because the narrow laser signal detects the refractive index changes in the optical fibre caused by external sources.

Description of the Purpose and Application Including Market Potential

Fibre infrastructure is absolutely essential for most data transfers not only over long distances. However, optical infrastructure is often threatened by fibre cuts caused by digging activity or theft. In an appropriate configuration, the optical fibre can be used not only to transmit data, but also to detect acoustic/mechanical vibrations, or temperature changes in the vicinity of the optical fibre. In addition to utilizing self-infrastructure protection, distributed sensing systems are becoming increasingly used in the security area for perimeter security, or geophysics for measuring seismic activities.

CESNET CLDS-PhiOTDR is suitable solution for everybody who wants universal hardware solution for distributed sensing system which enables next customization based on needs of own application.

The CESNET Association was founded by Czech universities and the Czech Academy of Sciences in 1996. It is engaged in research and development in the field of information and communication technologies and builds and develops the CESNET national e-infrastructure for research and education. Thanks to its research activities and accomplishments, it represents the Czech Republic in important international projects, particularly in building the pan-European GÉANT data network or grid projects (, and actively participates in their implementation. CESNET places great emphasis on the security of network operations, services and user protection.

Last change: 11.5.2018