Stuart McKinnon | The West Australian
Saturday, 29 June 2019
A fledgling Perth firm pioneering new monitoring technology has become the first company to emerge from a Nedlands-based business incubator set up by Perth mining entrepreneur Charlie Bass.
Terra15, which can monitor infrastructure such as pipelines, railways, roads and oil and gas wells using existing fibre optic cable, has left the Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation to take up office space on St Georges Terrace.
Nader Issa and Michael Roelens set up the company only three years ago but it already has a client list including some of the biggest mining and oil and gas companies operating in WA.
Terra15’s system connects with one end of a fibre optic cable and monitors vibrations by measuring varying light signals from every point along the cable.
Mr Issa said the technology could detect leaks or illegal tapping along specific areas of pipelines and send alerts to the owners. The same system could be used to monitor the health of a railway line, a train and its carriages or as a seismic sensor for exploration and reservoir monitoring of an oil and gas well.
“The beauty of our technology is that we’re able to use any standard existing optical fibre that may already be installed,” Mr Issa said.
He said it was fairly common for optical fibre cables to be buried alongside existing infrastructure.
“We can connect to any of that fibre, with permission of course, and use it for a purpose for which it wasn’t originally designed,” Mr Issa said. “We add functionality to it by using that existing infrastructure as a large sensing array.”