The slightest deviation in the beams of light that are sent through a fiber optic cable, which are made up of  thin strands of plastic or glass, makes them ideal for detecting vibrations above ground or along a fence. But while these solutions have been popular among end-users and integrators in certain vertical markets, they haven’t been adopted with great regularity in more mainstream commercial security projects.

“This group of companies put together a mission to make the private sector and other parts of the industry that would use these technologies aware of what they’re doing, the capabilities and educate them as well about the possibilities,” Cohen says.

Lynn Mattice, managing director of management consulting firm Mattice & Associates and the former CSO of Boston Scientific, says there are myriad applications for fiber optic sensing technology when it comes to the corporate realm even beyond installing it on a fence line or burying it under the ground.With regards to education, Cohen says the association will be putting a number of different resources, such as whitepapers, on their website to help inform people about the capabilities of the technology from both a security and operational (checking for leaks in pipelines, cracks in railways, etc.) monitoring perspective. They also plan to host webinars and begin putting out a regular newsletter in the coming weeks.

Enter the recently launched Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA), which is devoted to educating industry and government leaders about the benefits of the technology and its various applications. According to Thomas Cohen, executive director for FOSA, the association was formed by a group of technology companies that had a common interest in making their solutions known to a broader market.“We are also going to have direct contact with potential users of the technology – both public and private sector, so you can imagine various conferences and events,” Cohen adds. 

“In a port, for example, you could put this under water because fiber optic cable works well under water and you could put sensors on it, so now you’ve got acoustic and all kinds of activities that you can monitor coming into your port,” Mattice explains. “The types of sensors and the ability to deploy them are, frankly, only limited by the imagination and focusing on what are the specific risks associated with the environment you’re trying to protect.”“This is a process where we are going to keep pushing information out as we talk to these various parties, find out what else they need, try to respond to that, and keep building something.”