Ava Group, a provider of risk management services and technologies, announces new enhancements to its FFT Aura Ai-2 advanced fibre optic detection controller, which offers superior intrusion detection location accuracy together with extended range performance. The system is perfect for monitoring pipelines, perimeters and communications networks.

Mark Horton, Global Sales and Marketing Director at Ava Group comments, “The Aura Ai-2 is our next generation controller and was released to industry acclaim last year, being recognised for its ground-breaking performance. However, the system has had further performance upgrades and now offers monitoring of optical distances of 80km for perimeter fence detection or 110km for pipeline or covert buried detection.”

Fence mounted application

Accuracy has also been enhanced, the system can now pinpoint an intrusion location down to within +/- 2m metres on a fence mounted application. The controller is also able to cover different applications simultaneously, for example, fence mounted and covert buried detection. This essentially offers two units in one, saving on both procurement and operational costs.”

The Aura Ai-2 controller works by pulsing laser light along optical fibre cables connected to each of its two detection channels

The Aura Ai-2 controller works by pulsing laser light along optical fibre cables connected to each of its two detection channels. Dependent on the application these cables are either: laid adjacent to a pipeline, attached to a perimeter fence or buried along a perimeter boundary. Minute disturbances cause changes in the scattered light and the Aura Ai-2 controller automatically analyses this reflected light to detect, locate and report disturbances.

Reduces nuisance alarms

Advanced optical signal processing algorithms, combined with artificial intelligence, accurately and reliably analyse the reflected light to discriminate between intrusions and other causes of disturbance. This significantly reduces nuisance alarms whilst maintaining full awareness of any situation. When wired in a redundant loop configuration the two-channel controller provides cut resilience and continues to provide detection in the event of a deliberate or accidental cable cut.

Dr Jim Katsifolis, CTO at Ava Group Technology Division comments, “As is the case with any fibre optic system, the key to increasing performance over distance is to maximise its optical power budget, that is, the maximum allowable optical signal loss the system can tolerate while still maintaining proper operation. We have enhanced our Aura Ai-2 platform by designing new ultra low-noise detection electronics that significantly increase its dynamic range (and consequently its optical power budget).”

Protection solution for critical infrastructures

When combined with other design improvements that minimise noise while increasing detected signal strength, the Aura Ai-2 now has an industry leading power budget of 13.5 dB. We’ve achieved higher signal-to-noise ratios across the whole sensor, maximising the signals detected from both the near and far ends of the sensing fibre.”

Aura Ai-2 is the ideal protection solution for critical infrastructures such as high-risk oil & gas pipelines, chemical or water pipelines

As it utilises the sensitivity of fibre optic technology, Aura Ai-2 is also perfect for monitoring fibre optic communications networks. The system can monitor for tapping and tampering by connecting spare (dark) fibres inside each network cable to Aura Ai-2. Network cable disturbances, including removal of protective layers, attempted tapping or cable movement, will be instantly detected and generate an alarm indicating the location. Aura Ai-2 is the ideal protection solution for critical infrastructures such as high-risk oil & gas pipelines, chemical or water pipelines as they traverse often remote and inhospitable locations. It is also perfect for protecting long boundary perimeters alongside railway lines, airports and ports.

Perimeter fence project

Mark Horton added, “In the key terms of distance and accuracy, Aura Ai-2 easily outperforms its competitors and has already proven to be highly popular in the market. The system has already been chosen for a large Middle East pipeline and perimeter fence project, with the protection of both assets conveniently controlled from just one controller. In another project, the system has also been employed to monitor and alert of any rockfalls or landslides near a rail line that could endanger people or rolling stock.”

Since its launch, Aura Ai-2 has already won awards including at the Securex Poland International Security Fair Awards in relation to its perimeter protection capabilities. With a combination of performance, reliability and flexibility, Aura Ai-2 is finding new and innovative uses as Mark Horton concludes, “This powerful solution has many potential uses and is already being utilised to protect the security of vital government facilities, military installations, critical infrastructure and custodial facilities.”

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