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UK National Grid selects EXFO for fibre health monitoring pilot project

January 25, 2023

Posted by: Shriya Raban

EXFO, a communications industry’s test, monitoring and analytics spacialist, has announced that National Grid, one of the publicly-listed utilities focused on transmission and distribution of electricity and gas, has selected EXFO for a pilot project to provide monitoring for its ongoing fibre network health assessment in the UK, supporting the UK’s goal of becoming net-zero by 2050.

National Grid has deployed an overhead fibre optic operational telecommunications network across its electricity transmission infrastructure that carries critical information essential for secure and efficient utility operations. EXFO’s technology will. help assess the operational condition of the fiber network, while predicting its remaining technical lifespan and identifying potential points of weakness or failure.

For the first time in such an application, EXFO will also collect data from Intellisense Systems micro weather station (MWS) Internet of Things (IoT) devices being deployed to measure the specific environmental impact of wind, humidity and meteorological events. EXFO’s Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based analytics solution will amalgamate and correlate data from both the fiber optic network and weather system inputs, and dynamically predict, detect, and prevent outages and impairments in the network that might otherwise go unnoticed.

National Grid anticipates that EXFO’s proactive monitoring and fault detection can deliver a net benefit of as much as £2.9m (approx. $3.5 million USD) derived from failure avoidance and extending the lifespan of the existing network.

EXFO will measure, analyse, and report results from an 80 km span of the National Grid network in one of the most challenging areas of the UK for weather issues over a 12-month period. Deployment of test equipment and Intellisense devices got underway in October 2022.

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