Photonic Sensor Consortium Market Survey Report

Market Studies

Photonic Sensor Consortium Market Survey Report

2015 Photonic Sensor Consortium Market Survey Report

July 2014
Revised: March 2015


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The distributed fiber optic sensor market stood at $585 million in 2013. The market was projected to approach $1.5 billion in 2018 with 70% associated with the oil and gas segments. The sudden and unexpected drop in oil prices will negatively impact the market with the overall forecast falling short of the $1.5 billion forecast according to an updated and expanded market survey report conducted by the Photonic Sensor Consortium and published by Information Gatekeepers. The long term picture is still optimistic, but a short term contraction is likely.

The expanded report provides much greater detail for how the market is forecasted for specific technologies. Data is provided in graphic and tabular formats. The market is broken down for DTS, Bragg grating, DAS, interferometric and Brillouin scattering technologies in relation to the various market segment applications (oil and gas, military, homeland security, smart structures, etc.). In addition, the two dominant technologies (DTS and Bragg gratings)show relative market share by the major suppliers.

Distributed Fiber Optic Sensor Applications graphic

Distributed fiber optic sensors are an enabling technology that creates smart systems in a variety of applications. The initial commercialization efforts focused on military applications. However, the need to function in harsh environments and the development of optical fiber technology that can survive in these applications has significantly impacted the oil and gas industry. These smart sensing systems provide benefits throughout the life of a well from exploration to drilling and completion, production and reservoir management. There is no other technology that can provide critical process control information spatially throughout the well in real time over long periods. Without smart well technology, fracture monitoring and analysis and applications like steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) would be very difficult to effectively implement.

Distributed Fiber Optic Sensor Applications graphic

Why is there such a strong interest in this technology? Fiber optic sensors represent a technology base that can be applied to a multitude of sensing applications. There are several characteristic advantages of fiber optics that make their use especially attractive for sensors:

  • Nonelectrical
  • Explosion-proof
  • Small size and weight
  • Allow access into normally inaccessible areas and harsh environments
  • Immune to radio frequency interference (RFI) and electro-magnetic interference (EMI)
  • Solid-state reliability
  • High accuracy
  • Can facilitate distributed sensing

Most physical properties can be sensed optically with fibers. Light intensity, displacement (position), temperature, pressure, rotation, sound, strain, magnetic field, electric field, radiation, flow, liquid level, chemical analysis, and vibration are just some of the phenomena that can be sensed.

Fiber optic sensors have been used successfully for many years in military gyroscopes and hydrophones. However, their use in smart oil wells has been the key to enabling North America to be on a path to energy independence.

Table of Contents

Reason for Update

Photonic Sensor Consortium Background

Survey Overview

  • The focus is distributed fiber optic sensing systems
  • Wide range of responses from companies with sales of less than $5 million to companies with sales well in excess of $30 million
  • Projected sales growth in 2013
  • Projected sales growth in 2013 2017
  • Most companies use multiple technologies
  • Most prominent barrier to growth
  • Most companies address multiple market segments, but energy is the dominant market
  • 78% offer sensing systems, while 50% offer installation services

Survey Response

  • What was the size of your sensor business in 2013?
  • What is the anticipated growth in 2014?
  • What is your anticipated growth from 2013 to 2018?
  • What market segments do you serve?
  • What technologies do you use?
  • What products or services do you offer?
  • What is the biggest barrier to growth?

Distributed Fiber Optic Sensor Market Update

  • Sensor Forecast Methodology
  • Sensor Forecast Coverage

  • The forecast covers distributed fiber optic sensing systems including sensor elements, fiber optic cables, interrogators and software. It does not include installation. The markets covered are defined below:
    • Worldwide market excluding China
    • Market segments covered
      • Oil & gas seismic
      • Oil & gas in-well
      • Oil & gas pipelines
      • Wind energy turbines
      • Geothermal
      • Utility power lines
      • Military hydrophone
      • Military security
      • Military shipboard/avionic
      • Homeland security intrusion / chemical
      • Infrastructure
      • Industrial process control
  • Distributed Fiber Optic Sensor MarketUpdate
  • Distributed Fiber Optic Market Update(Comparing Relative Market Segment Growth)
  • Distributed Fiber Optic Sensor Market by Technologies
  • Distributed Fiber Optic Sensor Forecast Comparisons

What Happened to the Market?

  • Oil & Gas
  • Wind Turbines
  • Smart Grid
  • Smart infrastructure
  • Military
  • Homeland Security
  • Industrial

Summary and Conclusions

Several factors have impacted the distributed fiber optic sensor market growth.

  • On the positive side
  • On the negative side

Profiles of Select Distributed Fiber Optic Sensor Companies

  • 4DSP
  • Baker Hughes
  • CGGVeritas
  • Fiber SenSys
  • FISO Technologies
  • Fotech
  • IFOS
  • Intelligent Optical Systems
  • Halliburton
  • LIOS Technology
  • Luna
  • Micron Optics
  • Northrop Grumman
  • NP Photonics
  • Opsens
  • Optiphase
  • OZ Optics
  • Petrospec Engineering
  • PGS
  • QinetiQ
  • Schlumberger
  • Sensornet
  • Silixa
  • Smartec (Roctest Group)
  • TGS
  • US Seismic Systems, Inc. (USSI)
  • Weatherford
  • Zeibel


Technology Overview

  • Background
  • Distributed Fiber Optic Systems

Figure 1 Classification of Optical Fiber Sensors by Transducing Approach

Figure 2 A Simple Intensity-Based Fiber Optic Pressure Sensors

Figure 3 Mach Zehnder Interferometer

Figure 4 Fiber Bragg grating sensor system

Figure 5 Concept of Fiber Optic Distributive Sensors Based on Scattering

Figure 6 Fiber optic transmissive magnetic field sensor using magneto-optic sensing material in the light path

Figure 7Components common to all fiber optic sensors

Figure 8 Classification of optical fiber sensors according to their topology

Figure 9 Distributed Fiber Optic Sensor

Figure 10 Optical scattering mechanisms used for sensing applications

Figure 11 Fiber optic distributed sensors


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