Fiber Optic Tunnel Surveillance

In Norway there are annually 1300 breakdowns, 25 fires and 15 near-fires in motor vehicles. In many severe cases, loss of life has been avoided only by coincidence. The Fiber Optic Tunnel Surveillance (FOTS) project aims to improve traffic flow monitoring on roads, and particularly in tunnels, utilizing fiber optic technology.

In 2004, the European Union (EU) implemented the tunnel safety directive 2004/54/EC1, which describes the requirements for monitoring of all road tunnels with a length of at least 500m. Norway has accepted the directive, and made it applicable from 2006.

However, there are still 800 tunnels without adequate monitoring. 200 of them are scheduled for renovation in the next few years. The solutions available on the market today are complicated. They are susceptible to external influences from the environment, requires high installation and operating costs and do not provide sufficient information. In 2016, the national audit investigated safety in Norwegian road tunnels and concluded that the security is not good enough.

Fiber Optic Tunnel Surveillance (FOTS) is a technology developed by CMR which can be used to meet the requirements set for surveillance in a better way than existing technology. FOTS is a robust, secure, accurate and cost-effective technology that covers the requirements of the EU-directive.

FOTS gives the owners of the tunnels crucial real-time information about traffic flow and incidents such as collisions, congestion and other abnormalities. In case of unwanted incidents, the tunnel can be closed, other drivers alerted and emergency services automatically notified.

The technology can make use of fiber cable already installed in the tunnel, or a new fiber cable can be installed during road construction or replacement of the road surface. This ensures a low installation cost. Both the fiber cables and the control equipment is installed in protected environments, respectively under the road surface and in the technical room. This significantly reduces the maintenance costs compared with today’s solutions.

The main goal of the project is market verification of the technology – and thereby enabling installations in tunnels where road flow monitoring is required, both in Norway and internationally.The project will also evaluate whether the technology can be utilized in surveillance of larger outdoor areas, buildings, pipelines and other infrastructure.

The project has received verification funding from the FORNY2020 program at the Norwegian Research Council.

We are currently looking for collaborating partners for safety and security.

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