How to prevent cable thefts with FOS

Fibre Optic Sensing secures your assets

Deutsche Bahn successfully tested cable intrusion detection combined with initiated actions, like drones, to secure widespread, heavy to secure, infrastructure. Next step is to finalize the proof of concept and integrate the solution in the daily operation.

Deutsche Bahn regularly registers cable thefts that have a negative impact on railway operations and cause high maintenance costs. The aim of the cable theft application is therefore the timely recognition of a theft in order to catch the perpetrators in the act and thus serve as a deterrent for other cable thieves. In addition, fix and maintenance can be accelerated because FOS determines the exact location of the theft. Thus, the error tracking process can be significantly shortened by locating the damaged cable position. The influence to the network and its train operation is minimized.

Within the two projects in Berlin, a first algorithm for the detection of cable thefts was developed and tested successfully. As soon as the FOS system detects a cable theft, an alarm message is triggered with time, location and other relevant data. During a live demonstration in front of representatives of DB Netz AG and the Federal Police in June 2017, the combination of FOS with a possible drone deployment (in perspective) could be successfully demonstrated. In 2019 the algorithm was hardened by integrating AI logic for the analysis and development phase.

The next step of DB Netz AG in 2020 is to further develop the cable theft algorithm into a solution that can be used as a productive solution within the rail market.

Author: Max Schubert, DB Netz AG