OptaSense, a subsidiary of QinetiQ, has won the Innovation category of the Rail Media Group ‘Most Interesting Awards 2014’. The award category recognises innovation that significantly advances safety, security and efficiency within the rail sector.
The award follows major contract wins in the rail sector for OptaSense including an 18-month collaboration agreement with Europe’s biggest rail operator, Deutsche Bahn Netz AG, to deploy OptaSense’ Distributed Acoustic Sensing* (DAS) technology with a view to reducing operational and maintenance costs associated with trackside monitoring.
Existing technology requires dedicated trackside sensors to monitor different events such as wheel flats, train position, intrusion, rock fall and cable theft. The collaboration with Deutsche Bahn Netz AG will see OptaSense DAS perform multiple functions from a single sensor, thereby reducing the equipment and whole life costs associated with trackside monitoring.
In November, OptaSense was awarded a five year contract, split with its partner TAQQAT Global Co. – Abdulla Fouad Group, to provide security monitoring for two rail lines from Dammam to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The contract for the 1000km rail line is the first phase in securing the entire rail infrastructure in the country.
Magnus McEwen-King, Managing Director of OptaSense, said: “Introducing new technology to the rail industry is a challenge and we are delighted to be recognised for bringing new innovations to the market. The adoption we are seeing is a reflection of the confidence that significant operators have in our proven technology.
“As we continue to extend our deployment with some of the industry’s leading organisations, OptaSense is totally committed to enabling our customers to achieve the maximum asset availability to protect their revenues in addition to reducing operational & maintenance costs associated with trackside sensors.”
OptaSense was selected ahead of innovations from Network Rail, Aspin, Megatech and Pilz.