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Micron Optics - Micron Optics equips Weir-Jones for major oil pipeline

Micron Optics, 30 October 2012, Atlanta, GA, USA

Over the past decade, fiber optic sensing (FOS) has become widely accepted and adopted for structural health monitoring (SHM) of bridges, buildings, towers, and other large structures. More recently, the oil and gas industries have turned to fiber optic sensing for a variety of applications, including pipeline integrity monitoring, intrusion, and leak detection. As environmental regulations have become more stringent for oil and gas pipelines, FOS has become the technology of choice for pipeline monitoring for several reasons:

  1. Completely passive sensing solution 
  2. Immunity to EMI and lightning 
  3. Simplicity of installation/cabling 
  4. Long monitoring distances per interrogator (often greater than 30 km) 
  5. Longer sensor lifetimes than traditional gauges

In late 2011 through early 2012, The Weir-Jones Group, in conjunction with a large Canadian pipeline company, installed and commissioned a major pipeline monitoring project in Northern Alberta, Canada. Weir-Jones exclusively used Micron Optics’ products. These products included si225 interrogators, os3110 strain sensors, and os4100 temperature sensors. “We teamed with Micron Optics because of their technological leadership in FBG sensing. The products are extremely well engineered and designed, and the technical support and application assistance was excellent,” said Iain Weir-Jones, President.

The monitored section of the pipeline lies on the south slope of the Clearwater River, near Fort McMurray, Alberta. The pipeline was installed into unconsolidated quaternary sediments. Pipelines will move in these loose sediments, and continuous monitoring of strain in the pipe helps to ensure the integrity of the system. To monitor the structural integrity of this 1km long section, Weir-Jones used experience gained on other pipeline monitoring systems in the area in combination with the FBG sensing solution from Micron Optics. In total, over 150 sensors were spot welded onto the pipeline and monitored by two rack-mount si225 interrogators situated 1 km away from the pipeline. More details about the installation are in the case study located here: Weir-Jones Case Study

“Micron Optics is proud to be a part of this important installation. We expect pipeline monitoring to be a major growth area for Micron Optics in the coming years. The Weir-Jones Group has proven to be an extremely capable partner, and we hope to expand our relationship in the future for applications in the oil and gas industry,” said Jeff Miller, President of Micron Optics, Inc.

About The Weir-Jones Group: 

Founded in 1971 to provide specialized instrumentation and testing services in the field of geomechanics Weir-Jones’ consulting group has steadily expanded their capabilities in the areas of data acquisition and system design. The application of their expertise has been extended into the fields of marine and ground transportation systems, structural engineering, mining equipment, offshore systems, and contract research and development work for both civilian and defense clients.

About Micron Optics, Inc.: 

Micron Optics’ optical sensing and imaging products make impossible measurements possible, revealing new, critical information for Infrastructure, Energy, Transportation, Medical and Industrial sectors. Since 1990, Micron Optics has been expanding its core capabilities from tunable optical components and leading-edge instrumentation and software, to complete optical sensing systems. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Micron Optics is a privately held company. For more information, visit