Platinum Award Winner

CEL won homeland security award

Cleveland Electric Laboratories won an Award! 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners Honored at ISC East, New York, 2017.

thermocouple manufactureer won homeland security award for security sensors













Alan Seymour, PhD of Cleveland Electric Laboratories receiving award from Michael Madsen (L), Publisher of American Security Today.


CEL’s Fiber Optic sensors are used in security applications to monitor arrays of cameras and other sensors, or to monitor perimeters for intrusion detection. CEL’s Fiber Optic sensors are passive devices requiring no power and are immune to EMI. Fiber Optic sensors have a proven record of providing extremely accurate and repeatable data over a long period of time. Single systems can be designed to monitor multiple application simultaneously such as equipment wear, operational efficiency, leak detection and security. Multiple sensors can be installed on a single fiber and networked into one piece of monitoring equipment. This multiplexing capability drastically reduces cabling and equipment requirements, thereby reducing cost.















FiberStrike®: An advanced fiber optic sensing platform that is flexible and scalable. System architecture facilitates configuration for virtually any security monitoring application. Multiple sensor types address a broad range of intrusion detection applications.


User Interface

  • CEL’s advanced API provides a .net event output that allows easy integration with other existing Command and Control systems
  • Monitors and provides alerts, location information and data logging when discrete or distributed sensing systems are triggered or disturbed; remotely accessible
  • CEL offers the ICS SMS EnterpriseTM C3I Command and Control solution including customized graphic user interface; intuitive and designed to be used by anyone without a need for detailed training.

Advantages of FiberStrike® intrusion detection systems:

  • All FiberStrike® sensors (both distributed and discrete) are passive, have no electronic components, emit no signals and require no electrical power
  • Nonconductive optical fiber is immune to electrical interference and degradation due to chemicals or environmental factors
  • Multiple optical fibers are easily deployed for redundancy
  • Sensors may be 25+ kilometers from head-end monitoring equipment, no booster amplifiers required.

Click Here For FiberStrike® Security Brochure

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CEL YouTube Channel

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NCS4 Lab Tested CEL’s FiberStrike® Security Switch and Software



FiberStrike® fiber optic interlock switches are a solution created for intrusion detection at access portals such as doorways, vaults, hatchways, manholes and hand-holes. FiberStrike® will detect and locate attempts to cut, break, open, tamper, or intrude into integrated areas.  Additionally, sensors are passive and do not require power at the switch. The system can network sensors over non-conductive optical fiber into a single monitoring system that can be tens of kilometers removed from the sensing area.  The FiberStrike® system includes patented fiber optic sensors, software, and an interrogator capable of integrating surveillance technology into the intrusion detection system.

The FiberStrike® System was evaluated by a select group of subject matter experts (SMEs) from the sports security domain. This group consisted of professionals from public safety, sports and athletic facility operations, and information technology. The collective group of SMEs had a base of experience that encompassed collegiate and professional sports, and major event safety and security operations.

Request Here For Complete Report

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Come Visit US at the Ceramics Expo at Booth 500

Now in its third year, Ceramics Expo is the world’s largest annual free-to-attend expo for the advanced ceramic and glass community.

The massively expanded event stands as a unique showcase for all the latest start materials, industrial equipment, technical ceramic components, processing expertise, analysis and testing devices, thermal technologies and precision finishing systems that keep this sector at the forefront of manufacturing advances.

Due to its tightly focused approach and by maintaining a close relationship with all core stakeholders, Ceramics Expo guarantees the participation of respected and innovative suppliers. As the premier US ceramics exhibition, it draws in thousands of genuine decision makers and aims to set the agenda for ceramics manufacturing and applications.


Innovnano’s new ceramic powder offers an improved alternative to 3YSZ for structural ceramic applications

In an exciting development for the structural ceramics market, Innovnano, a European manufacturer of zirconia-based powders, has developed a ready-to-press 2mol% yttria-stabilised zirconia (2YSZ) with an outstanding fracture toughness.

Read More | Apr 21, 2017

New Accessories for Sequoia’s LISST-200X

Sequoia Scientific (Bellevue, WA) has announced that two new accessories are now available for its LISST-200X submersible laser-diffraction instrument: the Path Reduction Module (PRM) and Full Path Flow Through Chamber.

Read More | Apr 18, 2017

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A Taller Ladder is Not the Answer By Alan Seymour, PhD of Cleveland Electric Labs

(Image Credit: Vanessa Pena via YouTube
What is really needed is a fiber optic system that can interact with the fence and that is also buried that will give location and notification without all the false positives. (Image Credit: Vanessa Pena via YouTube)

By Alan Seymour, PhD of Cleveland Electric Labs

Just under a year ago, the White House went into a security lockdown because someone was trying to scale the fence and the solution at that time was to build a taller and stronger fence.

The problem though is that if you want to get across a taller fence, you simply need a taller ladder.

A year later another man has scaled the wall and roamed the grounds for nearly 17 minutes before being apprehended by Secret Service.

(Mar 18, 2017 White House spokesman Sean Spicer, has said on Twitter, that a person has jumped over a bike rack in a buffer zone in front of the White House, but was not able to make it over the fence and into the property. Courtesy of USA TODAY and YouTube)

Whether this is due to ignoring alarms, as reported by some, or just not knowing the exact location of entry on the fence, a taller fence is not the answer, as it will not solve either of those problems.

If it is ignoring alarms, then there could be an issue that is seen on many security systems installed across our nation, false positives, where the alarm goes off but there is no real issue.

What happens is not as some have stated in ignoring the alarms purposely, but the fact that they go off so often that the mind tends to negate the noise or the alarm.

If one has ever attended college and lived in a dorm, fraternity or sorority house, you remember all the false fire alarms, to the point that you just did not react to them anymore.

This is not to say that happened, but it is being reported that the Secret Service, one of our great institutions, supposedly may have ignored some alerts.  I think it more plausible that it is an issue with false positives than our men and women protecting our President just plain ignoring the situation.

They are some of the best trained agents in the world, and it just does not fit that there was a purposeful ignoring of an alert.

(Image Credit: YouTube)

The need is really not a taller fence that can be scaled by a decent climber, just look up on YouTube at all the people that free-solo up buildings with ease.  A taller wall is just a few more seconds of climbing or attaining a higher ladder to get over it.

What is really needed is a fiber optic system that can interact with the fence and that is also buried that will give location and notification without all the false positives.

Building a taller fence today is like still using Windows XP and saying you just need more RAM in your computer for it to work better and be more effective.  The answer is not the RAM, it is your operating system.

Taller fences are not the answer, it is the operating procedures for protecting our perimeters.  Just as the Windows XP had to be upgraded over time, so does how we protect our most valuable assets, our American citizens and leaders.

A Fiber Optic system, like Cleveland Electric Labs’ FiberStrike perimeter security system, is where security should be heading.  The system can be mounted right onto the fence going around the White House that will keep the visibility of our great iconic building to the public, and then buried a few meters beyond the fence in a closed loop to give an additional source of intrusion detection.

The fiber optic system will report from multiple locations within five seconds to a single command/control center for monitoring and the system will integrate with any command/control already being utilized.

The FiberStrike system will give location of the event where the fence was scaled and if Secret Service cannot reach that particular location in time, then there is the buried fiber that will give another indication of direction of where the offender proceeded.

The system can be tied to the current camera system so the intruder can be recorded and monitored immediately for identification and additional location information, making it nearly impossible to avoid detection.

Fiber optic systems are immune to EMI, EMP and lightning strikes as there is no electricity going through the fiber and only light, that is continuously monitoring the perimeter.

There is no issue with weather, as wireless systems can have, because it is a direct fiber optic connection and weather does not have an effect on its operation.

The materials are corrosion resistant and will last for the long term.  There is a military grade protective material over the fiber and if anyone were able to cut it, all it would do is give their exact location.

False positives can be removed through the software by the system learning the first week it is installed.

There are unique acoustic signatures in how things behave, and the system will differentiate between a bird landing on the fence, high winds and a human grabbing the fence and trying to scale it, virtually making false positives a thing of the past.

Each type of occurrence makes its own disturbance that is analyzed and reported in the software, making it much easier to weed out false positives.  The Secret Service can then react to actual alarms and not have to deal with false intrusions.

With software offered like Cleveland Electric Labs Intellioptics, the field agents can be sent a text of an intrusion right to their phones, giving immediate confirmation of an event and quicker response times, not allowing for a potential terrorist to have any amount of time to get across the yard targeting our nation.

The software capabilities tied with the fiber optic security, gives a complete system and an upgrade to just having a fence as a deterrent.

(FiberStrke Detection System, apply to a wide range of applications. Courtesy of Alan Seymour and YouTube)

Building large fences becomes an eye sore, and an irritant to the public.  They are required to keep the bad out, but as they get taller and thicker, it can start to give the appearance they are to keep the good out as well.  It can create an isolationist perception of our leadership and our country.

FiberStrike allows for a fence that is eye appealing, can still give a great perceptual view and at the same time give better detection of intrusion.

Not only is it a better aesthetic option, it creates a less stressful environment, as psychologically when you have intrusive obstacles, it tends to create more issues with people trying to defeat the obstacle.


Fiber optics gives the appearance of freedom while still protecting the liberties of our leaders and nation.

Secret Service agents and snipers can still have great line of site and have less stress knowing the false positives will be nearly wiped out.

With cameras tied to the system, there is little chance for any potential perpetrator to make it three minutes on the grounds, let alone seventeen minutes.

At the same time, tourists feel they are connecting with our leaders and have access to view our nations White House that is a work of architectural art.

Between the border wall, and the White House there are consistent problems with keeping people from crossing the fence, and not only crossing the fence, but also figuring out location of where the intrusion happened.

Alan Seymour, PhD of Cleveland Electric Labs
Alan Seymour, PhD of Cleveland Electric Labs

Building taller, thicker or stronger is not the answer, as people will just buy a taller ladder, dig a longer tunnel or use better tools to cut through the wall.

What is needed is a fiber optic system, like FiberStrike, that will continuously monitor, give location of intrusion and not even seen for the most part as it is either buried or integrated onto the current standard or ornate fence, protecting federal property, the border, our nation and the White House.

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Cleveland Electric Labs on Red Wing’s Oil and Gas HSE Podcast


Red Wing's Oil and Gas HSE Podcast

The ability to identify a problem before it becomes an HSE incident is often a game of seconds; things often go from bad to worse in the blink of an eye. But what if you could monitor your operations five times a second, during every phase of your operation?

The folks at Cleveland Electric Labs specialize in equipment that can do that, and more.

From monitoring the flow of bulk product through a pipeline to protecting a secure area from unauthorized entry, Cleveland Electric Labs has over 90 years of experience providing solutions to every aspect of industrial safety and security.

The Red Wing Oil and Gas HSE Podcast is hosted by Mark LaCour and Patrick Pistor. This is THE show for everyone who has an interest in HSE in the oil and gas industry.

Mark the Director at Modalpoint, where he manages a dedicated team of industry professionals, with a laser focus on the intersection of the Oil and Gas industry and your revenue stream. He has extensive experience in the Oil and Gas industry and sits on the API – Houston board of directors.

Patrick is the Managing Director at Lean Oilfield, where his team focuses on business process improvement and digital marketing for the oil and gas industry. He has worked for drilling contractors in the Gulf of Mexico, Angola, Australia and Singapore and sits on the board of directors for the IADC – Houston chapter

Click Play to Hear the Oil and Gas HSE Podcast Episode 32 – Cleveland Electric Labs

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CEL Competes in 2017 ASTORS Homeland Security Awards

Unmonitored manhole/vault covers pose significant vulnerability access points to sensitive governmental areas & critical infrastructure locations for physical attack, frequently missed in perimeter protection strategies, as evidenced for example, by the Metcalf attack

Unmonitored manhole/vault covers pose significant vulnerability access points to sensitive governmental areas & critical infrastructure locations for physical attack, frequently missed in perimeter protection strategies, as evidenced for example, by the Metcalf attack (Learn More)

When dignitaries or high-profile individuals visit cities, municipal crews often weld manholes shut in vulnerable locations to ensure safety, costing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars each time they must be welded and then cut open again.

Manhole covers and similar access points related to sensitive areas as well as critical infrastructure locations have proven to be a source of significant vulnerability, and many malicious acts such as vandalism, material theft, and even terrorism have occurred due to ease of access through manholes that generally are unprotected.

Electrical utility manhole cover
Electrical utility manhole cover

Utility companies, telecom providers, and municipalities are increasingly installing cabling and other components of their physical infrastructures underground.

Power is carried over metal cables, but most data and telecommunications infrastructures utilize fiber optics, and these vital links commonly pass through underground vaults.

The data and telecom traffic carried on these lines is sensitive at a minimum, and the access points to such lines need to be secured to help maintain both the integrity of this vital infrastructure and the security of the information carried by it.

Although the jacket of a fiber optic cable may appear virtually identical to a cable containing copper wires, a thief in a hurry may not distinguish between the two; and as the following account illustrates, metal theft may not be the only motivation for lifting a utility vault cover.

At the lower end of the threat continuum, thieves frequently enter manholes to cut power cables in order to steal metals to be sold for scrap.

For these efforts, they may gain a few hundred dollars from a scrap yard, while causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage and the loss of critical public safety services, power, and telecommunications to nearby industry, the surrounding community and its citizens.

Soft targets

At the higher end of the threat continuum, literally hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of manholes around our nation give easy access for a physical attack against vital components of our infrastructure, and the Metcalf attack demonstrates this easy access.

In addition to access points for vital components of our national infrastructure, manholes in and around city centers, stadiums, coliseums, hospitals, campuses, government agencies or similar public venues where large numbers of people gather at one time may also be points of vulnerability.

The Need

A safe and durable means of continuously monitoring the position of manhole or vault covers, in order to detect when they are opened and closed, is needed to help protect our vital communications and power infrastructures installed in manholes and underground vaults.

Monitoring of manholes near public venues where many people gather also would be beneficial to immediately alert authorities of any unauthorized entry; such monitoring would help maintain perimeter security and improve public safety.

The Vulnerability, an Example – The Metcalf Attack

Metcalf Attack
(Image Credit: WSJ)

On 16 April 2013, just before 1AM, intruders lifted the heavy cover of a telecom underground utility vault near the Metcalf power substation just south of San Jose, CA.

They cut fiber optic telecom cables in the vault, disrupting communications in the area; a few minutes later, they entered a second vault nearby and severed more telecom cables.

Then, starting around 1:30, they focused rifle fire on high voltage transformers inside the substation fence. The shooting lasted nearly twenty minutes, and then the saboteurs vanished into the night.

Law enforcement officers arrived only a moment later, saw nothing suspicious, could not get past the locked fence, and left.

The attack caused leakage of 52,000 gallons of cooling oil and disabled 17 transformers; a blackout in portions of Silicon Valley was narrowly averted through power re-routing and conservation.

Jon Wellinghoff, then chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, visited the site afterward and brought along military experts.

They concluded that it was a planned professional job, and Mr. Wellinghoff stated the attack was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the US.

(Hear from Jon Wellinghoff, and Mark Weatherford, former deputy undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security, about future risks and protection directly, courtesy of Homeland Security Mgmt, PBS and YouTube)

The Department of Homeland Security defines terrorism as any activity involving an act that is “dangerous to human life or potentially disruptive of critical infrastructure or key resources.”

By this definition, the Metcalf attack was a double act of terrorism.

Such classification may or may not deter would-be thieves or saboteurs depending on their determination, knowledge and speed, but the development of systems to continuously monitor access points and help protect the security of vital infrastructures located underground has not kept pace with the expansion of such infrastructures themselves.

If a well-coordinated attack on these systems were to occur again today, how quickly would we know the location?

What if we could identify, in less than five seconds after it occurred, exactly which manhole cover was disturbed?

Given this capability, might the Metcalf event have turned out differently?

Desirable attributes of a suitable manhole/vault cover intrusion detection system include the following:

LCM-610 sensor
LCM-610 sensor
  • Reliably, continuously and simultaneously monitoring of the position of multiple manhole covers
  • Individual and unique identifiers for every manhole or vault in which the system is installed
  • Immediately report a change in the position of any manhole or vault cover
  • Sensors that are environmentally rugged and resistant to corrosion
  • Sensors that are intrinsically safe for use in explosive atmospheres
  • Sensors located in each manhole/vault that do not require electrical power
  • Sensors and interconnecting lines that emit no signals and are immune to electrical interference
  • Sensors that cannot be bypassed without detection
  • Sensors that may be deployed kilometers distant from remote monitoring equipment, if required.

The CEL Solution

LCM-610 sensor in protective cowling, mounted to concrete manhole wall using adjustable adapter plateLCM-6100 systems are part of the FiberStrike suite of fiber optic sensing systems made by Cleveland Electric Laboratories (CEL) in Tempe, AZ, which have been deployed both domestically and internationally.An effective solution exists in LCM-6100 manhole cover position sensing systems, which are specifically designed to help protect the security of underground utility infrastructures by monitoring the position of covers at the manhole or vault access points.

FiberStrike sensing systems use light (not electricity) to sense position or movement, and system attributes address all of the criteria listed above.

An LCM-6100 system for monitoring manhole or vault covers consists of LCM-610 sensors, LCM-2600 monitoring equipment at a remote location, optical fiber that links the sensors with the monitoring equipment, processing software, and a graphic user interface that is intuitive and easily used without requiring extensive training.

Protective mounting hardware also is available that adjusts to virtually any manhole wall configuration.


“The ROI for a FiberStrike system may be estimated by comparing how many times a city has to go through the aforementioned process of welding manholes closed and reopening them (at top), or estimates of how much will be lost in the event of thefts, vandalism or terrorism, against the system installation cost,” said Rodger Shepherd, VP Advanced Technologies, CEL.

“Type SMF-28 fiber is commonly used in telecom systems, and if dark (unused) fiber of this type already passes through manhole/vault spaces to be protected and testing confirms it is suitable, installation costs may be reduced by using such fiber to link cover position sensors and the LCM-2600 remote monitoring equipment.”

“Up to fifty LCM-610 sensors may be multiplexed on one fiber, making efficient use of available fiber and further reducing installation costs.”

“The FiberStrike system continuously monitors the position of manhole or vault covers and immediately reports a change at any cover; the LCM-2600 equipment can simultaneously monitor hundreds of cover sensors if desired, with every cover individually and uniquely identified.”

“Alerts also can be transmitted to multiple authorized recipients via voicemail or text.”

“Individual identification allows exact location of any attempt to access a manhole or underground vault through a cover on which a sensor has been installed, and facilitates an immediate focused response by security or law enforcement personnel if appropriate,” concluded Shepherd.

Cleveland Electric Laboratories

CEL in 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program

The 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of Physical, IT, Port Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, (Fire, EMT, Military, Support Services Vets, SBA, Medical Tech) as well as the Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies – to acknowledge their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.’

As an ‘ASTORS’ competitor, Cleveland Electric Laboratories (CEL) will be competing against the industries leading providers of innovative sensor, intrusion detection systems for critical infrastructure.

2017 ‘ASTORS’ Winners will be honored at the ‘American Security Expo 2017’ to be held November 8-9, 2017, in the Meadowlands Exposition Center, at the 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon which will take place the afternoon of November 8, 2017.

The full two-day conference & exhibit venue in the New York City area, will include full schedule of conference meetings and speakers – plus an Unmanned Security, Robotics & Drone Exhibition Arena, Hiring Event & Education Opportunities.

Good luck to Cleveland Electric Labs on becoming a Winner of the 2017 American Security Today’s Homeland Security Awards Program!

For more information on LCM-6100 systems, as well as other FiberStrike intrusion sensing systems, readers are encouraged to contact Cleveland Electric Laboratories’ Advanced Technologies Group (CEL-ATG) by phone at 480-967-2501 or via email at

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SIA Member Spotlight: Cleveland Electric Labs Readies Perimeter Security Breakthrough

Executives from Cleveland Electric Labs visited SIA headquarters recently.

by Mickey McCarter, Manager of Communications in SIA Membership

Cleveland Electric Labs, a new member of the Security Industry Association (SIA), is on the verge of introducing an innovative new perimeter security product to the commercial security marketplace.
In a visit to SIA headquarters recently, Cleveland Electric Labs executives, including President Jack Allan Lieske and Vice President of Advanced Technologies Rodger Shepherd, described how their company assessed current perimeter security sensors and found them lacking. Many customers of existing solutions report unacceptably high rates of false alarms, the executives said.
1But eventually Cleveland Electric Labs was able to deploy its fiber optic sensor tech in a truly exciting solution.
“We immediately knew we could not try to follow anything like that same architecture,” Shepherd told SIA. “So we worked very hard to develop completely different architectures that would give us different signatures.”
The first method Cleveland Electric Labs began exploring was direct-buried fiber optic cable. The limitations of that approach became evident quickly, said Shepherd, as varying soil types and conditions affect the reliability of sensor readings. Soft soil makes it easy to detect footprints over the fiber optics while hard ground makes it difficult. Cleveland Electric Labs shifted its focus away from that effort, although the company continues to explore options.
The second method the company assessed was fence-mounted tech. Cleveland Electric Labs discovered it could make a breakthrough using this model. Without going into detail, Shepherd said the company’s engineers were able to measure movement through their fence-mounted fiber optics in a way that would avoid false alarms such as strong wind blowing on birds landing on the fence.
Soon, Cleveland Electric Labs will unveil its first customer for its fence-mounted perimeter security solution. That same customer also purchased a buried fiber solution for detection of whether an intruder attempts to dig under a fence, a problem much easier to solve than detection of footprints across various grades and conditions of ground soil.
Cleveland Electric Labs, a 97-year-old company headquartered in Ohio, traditionally was involved in industrial temperature control sensor manufacturing, Lieske said. It provided sensors to longtime clients like Honeywell and Northrop Grumman among others. Eventually, Cleveland Electric Labs sold off some of its other legacy business and focused solely on sensors.
More than a decade ago, Cleveland Electric Labs acquired a partner in Phoenix, Arizona, and deepened its focus on small sensors and fiber optics. The acquisition of the Arizona company led to building a site at a University of Arizona research park in Tempe, Arizona. In the Tempe facility, the company built out its perimeter security business, employing about 40 people in that location to develop products, build them and as necessary install them. (Cleveland Electric is ready to work with integrators as well as complete installations itself.)
With its perimeter security solution nearly complete, Shepherd voiced confidence that Cleveland Electric Labs would be able to discern locations of intruders much more precisely than other products. With the completion of software development for the fence-mounted solution, Cleveland Electric Labs will start widely marketing the security package. The package will consist of a mid-range price product that will deliver exact location to clients, Shepherd said.
“We see a gap in what is available right now,” he added. Many perimeter security clients have turned off their solutions to cut down on false alarms.
That could eventually lead to disaster at critical hubs like airports. In the case of U.S. airports, the 31 highest volume airports have experienced more than 250 intrusion attempts since 2011, whether trespassers were attempting to cut through, drive through or climb over perimeter fencing.
“We are not taking any product to market that is going to be susceptible to the same problems as existing platforms,” Shepherd vowed.
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Crain’s Business Magazine – With success in one new market, Cleveland Electric Labs eyes another

The Twinsburg company, best known for making thermocouples — a fairly low-tech item to measure temperature but one that is used in countless industrial applications now hopes it can sell high-tech sensors to monitor pipelines and national infrastructure.

Jack_LieskeThat might sound like a stretch, and it might be one for most companies. But CEL has been down this road before. The company previously set its sights on supplying fiber optic sensors to monitor the soundness of the nation’s bridges and other transportation structures. That was not long after the I-35 Mississippi River bridge in Minnesota collapsed in 2007, killing 13 people.
Thermocouples remain the company’s biggest source of revenue, but installing sensor systems to monitor bridges has become a significant business for the company. CEL owner Jack Allan Lieske said the private company does not break down its financial results for public consumption, but its annual revenue is about $35 million a year.

CEL got into fiber optic technology when it purchased an Arizona company with which it had been partnering on projects. The six-person operation was known then as Instrumentation Specialties Inc. Now, a dozen years later, the Arizona operation has more than 30 employees and functions as CEL’s Advanced Technology Group — and its source of fiber optics expertise. It is run by former Instrumentation Specialties president Rodger Shepherd.

“One of the first areas where we started using this (fiber optics technology) was in bridge monitoring, and now we have some very sophisticated systems in place around the U.S. and Mexico,” said Shepherd, now a vice president at CEL.

For example, the company recently installed a fiber optic monitoring system on the Indian River Bridge in Delaware, a system that includes about 175 sensors and cost roughly $1 million, Lieske said.

Now, the company is installing a similar system on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

“We’re starting on the (Manhattan) side and we should get over to Brooklyn in about four to five years.” Lieske said, explaining that the sensor work is following other bridge renovations as they progress from one side to the other.

CEL will continue to pursue new work on bridges and other infrastructure, but it is also continuing to expand its product line and the markets it serves, Lieske said.

That includes monitoring systems for underground infrastructure in cities around the nation, too, Shepherd said. The company has developed sensors that can constantly monitor underground environments and alert city officials if any unauthorized access takes place. That’s important, in part, because cities more than ever need to protect underground copper wiring from thieves, as well as secure phone, data, sewer and water lines.
Now the company hopes the oil and gas industry will be its next big market. CEL has developed a system that uses electronic components and fiber optic communication lines to monitor pipelines, compressor stations and the internal pipes and plumbing of natural gas processing centers and oil refineries.

“It’s basically a microphone, and we’re listening to the flow of material through the pipeline. Anything flowing makes a certain sound,” Shepherd said.

The system can tell by changes in the frequency or amplitude whether anything has disturbed the pipeline, or if a leak has developed, Shepherd said. Soon, he hopes, it will be good enough to tell pipeline operators the volume of gas or oil flowing through the line at any given time.

Currently, oil and gas companies monitor their in-use pipelines largely via aerial observation. That process has become cheaper and easier to implement in recent years, thanks to drones, but it still only provides a snapshot of the pipeline’s condition.

Shepherd and Lieske said a chief advantage of their system is that it provides constant, real-time information.

What they don’t yet know is how many microphones the system needs or, more specifically, how far they can be spaced apart. That will determine the cost of the system, and the company’s test facility in Arizona does not allow for long stretches of pipeline to be installed and tested.

CEL is looking for a company in the oil and gas industry to work with to test the system on longer runs. So far, it has found no takers, though officials just started looking, Lieske said.

The company hopes its new fiber optics products do well because its infrastructure and pipeline monitoring systems bring in higher margins than its thermocouples. It also hopes that these new markets prove to be faster growing than the steel, glass and other old-line industries that are its biggest customers for thermocouples.

Recently, things might have turned a bit in CEL’s favor, too.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to both increase infrastructure spending and to be more friendly to oil and gas development in the U.S. If he follows through, that could mean more investment in pipelines and infrastructure.

Virtually all of the nation’s bridges could benefit from structural monitoring, and some of them desperately need it, Lieske said.

“This could be a huge industry nationally. Imagine if the country did a couple hundred bridges every month,” Lieske said.

But the tailwinds are also far from reliable.

Though investments in drilling and pipeline construction have increased somewhat in recent months, low prices for oil and gas are still depressing activity and environmental concerns have slowed some pipeline projects.

But just developing its new products has given CEL a head start in some new markets, along with eight patents on its new technologies.

“We don’t have competitors in a lot of these new markets, and we have new patented products that we never thought we’d have,” Lieske said.

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Alan Seymour of CEL Speaks to the PA Senate




State Capital Harrisburg, PA on November 16TH , 2016


Alan Seymour of our Advanced Technologies Group at CEL, gave recommendations to the PA Senate and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee this week. The group topic of discussion was on the PA emergency preparedness and response measures for natural gas/petroleum pipeline infrastructure. Over the past twelve years CEL has researched, developed and patented fiber optic products that are utilized today for structural health monitoring, security and gas & oil leak detection.

CEL Presentation & Recommendations 


Meeting Video




On behalf of Cleveland Electric Laboratories, Inc (CEL), I would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to present testimony in regards to the emergency preparedness & response measures for natural gas/petroleum pipeline infrastructure across PA. CEL is a ninety-six-year-old family owned company. Beginning with thermocouple sensors, CEL has developed into the number one sensing company in America with well-known customers as Honeywell, Boeing, GE, Pratt Whitney, and Rolls Royce, to name a few. Over the past twelve years we have researched, developed and patented fiber optic products that are utilized today for structural health monitoring, security and gas & oil leak detection. Living on a dairy farm in Rural Valley, PA, for a large part of my life, has given me first-hand experience into what can happen when a gas leak is not detected. The neighboring farm had a leak they did not know about and after time it exploded and the explosion was felt for miles. I consider it an honor to be able to contribute to Pennsylvania finding solutions for the concerns of protecting its citizens and natural resources from catastrophic pipeline failure events, vandalism, theft, injury or loss of life. All one has to do is type into a search engine, “gas leaks in PA,” and a plethora of unfortunate accidents, thefts, vandalisms, and deaths will start to populate your screen. The Trib reported in its’ findings that, “Pennsylvania averaged one natural gas leak for every three miles of distribution pipe last year, making the Keystone State’s one of the leakiest systems. One in five miles of Pennsylvania pipeline — nearly twice the national average — is older than 1960, federal data show. During the past 10 years, gas explosions killed 10 people and injured 21 in the state.” As recently as April 29th, 2016 a gas line exploded near a man’s home in western PA and per NPR news, “The explosion, which occurred on a 30-inch interstate natural gas pipeline, burned one person and caused flames to shoot above nearby treetops in the largely rural Salem Township, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. It prompted authorities to evacuate homes and businesses nearby.” We have all read, seen or know someone with a story like this and it is commendable that you are taking up the cause to get in front of this issue. My family, like many others, has been blessed by the benefits of Pennsylvania’s vibrant gas business and the goal for all of us is to help secure this critical infrastructure and keep accidents as mentioned above from happening in the future. According to Triblive, ““Accidents involving gas distribution lines have killed more than 120 people, injured more than 500 others and caused more than $775 million in damage since 2004, according to a Tribune-Review analysis of U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration records.” One life is too many, and the loss of revenue has been devastating to the economy and has caused many issues for small towns and cities. I owned a small business in Indiana, PA and saw first-hand how the loss of revenue from the gas industry can affect a community, but I have also seen when the gas industry is at its fullest capacity the positive effects it can have as well. I desire to see the robustness from the gas industry and with it, safer and more reliable systems to protect our infrastructure and detect leaks to protect your constituents and the environment.

CEL believes two of the best means of protecting the people of Pennsylvania, the environment and our gas infrastructure is to utilize the best technology for leak detection and the best physical security products available. The initial investment is minimal compared to financial loss from leaks and explosions, and there is no cost that can be attributed to losing a human life. There are a few options on the market today that are considered more modern, but only a continuously monitored situation is the best. Drones, for example, are great for going in after a leak to see if there is danger and gather intelligence prior to sending in a team, but they are not good for a standard leak detection system. They must be manned and only see the area they are in at the time. They do not continuously monitor the line. What happens if the leak happens after the drone is gone? Just recently they were testing drones for bridge inspection in Ohio and the same issues arose, as they only see what is there at the time. During the test one of the operators crashed a drone, costing the company $35,000.00. The cost for human error can be expensive, whether by accident or purposeful. As of recently, they are finding that individuals will try to shoot the drones out of the air, not to mention that birds have been known to attack as well, causing thousands in damage. Drones are great for entering and collecting intelligence, but not for actual continual detection. Electrical systems are not suitable as they have spark issues and could cause more harm than good if a leak occurs. They must rely on power that is not always available in remote areas and they ultimately would have issues with ionizing the gas lines where they have to attach with copper grounding. Fiber optics is the best solution for continuous monitoring, and we believe our FiberStrike system is the most accurate and best solution available. Fiber optics are EMI and EMP resistant, don’t have spark issues and will not deteriorate in harsh environments. Fiber optic sensors do not use electricity at the sensors, eliminating any spark issues. FiberStrike – An advanced fiber optically-based sensing platform that is flexible and scalable, facilitating system configuration for virtually any application. All FiberStrike sensors are passive, have no electronic components, emit no signals and require no electrical power. Sensors are immune to electrical interference and degradation due to chemicals or environmental factors. FiberStrike systems are available in two different application families, Discrete Sensor Systems and Intrusion Detection Systems, which can be seamlessly deployed together to maximize monitoring and protection of assets: Discrete Sensor Systems (DSS) DSS is for specific perimeters and locations. Sensor types include strain gauges, accelerometers, bolt tension (Brainy Bolts), position, acoustic signature, access/interlock switches, air flow and temperature sensors.

Discrete sensors are proven effective for monitoring structural health on multiple civil structures world-wide. The sensors are extremely sensitive, can measure movements down to 10-12 m. As many as 50 sensors may be multiplexed on a single optical fiber, facilitating ease of installation, egress routing and data management. Events for hundreds of discrete sensors may be monitored and reported using a single interrogator. The properties of fiber optics allow DSS to be deployed over wide areas or long distances. Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) IDS determines the location of attempted physical intrusions in data communication conduits or trays, thereby helping ensure information security. IDS also may be directly buried, providing the capability to determine location of pedestrian and vehicle traffic intrusion events over distances of kilometers. Intrusion event location accuracy is approximately equal to fiber optic loop length 100 for a single fiber. This accuracy applies to both communication conduit and direct burial systems. Accuracy improves with the use of multiple co-located fiber loops, making false alarms virtually eliminated by CEL’s embedded, advanced designs and configurations. Key Features of both DSS and IDS FiberStrike systems The response time to an event is <3 seconds, with an average response time of 1.5 seconds. Event alert systems and data logging are integral components of Cleveland Electric Laboratories’ available Command and Control solution. Advanced API provides a .net event output, allowing easy integration with existing C2 or C3 systems. FiberStrike system flexibility facilitates integrating any combination of DSS and IDS into a single head-end.

Emergency Management for Leak Detection One of the bigger objections is cost to retrofit pipe already in the ground, especially in remote areas. First, our product only needs a shallow trench to lay a heavily protected fiber optic cable and then attach an acoustic sensor to the pipe in very select locations, up to half a mile apart from each other. We just use a strap that causes no structural integrity loss to the pipe and none of the materials will make an ionized reaction. Second, there is a way to make income off the fiber optic lines that would need to be run beside the gas lines. There are many small towns that must still use dial-up internet or DSL at best, making it very difficult for students, employees working from home and those who must access the internet for a variety of reasons (health, reports, emails, etc.). The fiber optic cable run can be used not only for our acoustic system, but it can also be used to allow your constituents to receive high-speed internet and cable access. In the areas with still no high-speed internet, the gas companies would be helping to provide this needed service. They could partner with the cable and/or internet providers to help cover the cost of having the cable run through these areas. It becomes a win-win for everyone. Pipes are safer and secured, and smaller towns gain access to services that were believed to not be available in any foreseen future, and the providers make new streams of income by providing services to new customers. Last, these sensors, and any other sensors from our product line can all be tied together to give a very robust solution for Emergency Services. If our pipeline, security and structural monitoring sensors were all tied together, you would be very well informed during an emergency. If there were an unfortunate accident, then you would have information from bridges, pipelines, and security, all giving you information for responding to the situation. It would tell you where the event was, if bridges, manholes, mines or gas lines were damaged, which routes would be the best solutions for evacuations. Guess work is no longer an issue. This ties in with IoT (Internet of Things) and being able to obtain information from multiple sources to make the best-informed decision as it pertains to the safety of PA constituents. We believe that running these fiber optic lines can turn into an income based solution instead of a financial expense that can benefit many in the state of Pennsylvania. This will help move PA onto a path of becoming one of the leaders in the technology age.

We would recommend our acoustic leak detection solution and Brainy Bolt for continuous gas line monitoring that will give you leak indications within three seconds of the event. The acoustic signatures, across a spectrum, of leak events on a pipeline are captured using FiberStrike ® technology. Our system continuously monitors the acoustic signatures of pipelines, and each pipeline will exhibit an acoustic characteristic. This signature characteristic will change if an anomaly occurs, as a leak, impact, or digging nearby takes place. The FiberStrike system will obtain immediate information, less than three seconds and give the location of the anomaly, as a backhoe, gunshot (even if pipe is not punctured) or leak. The BrainyBolt® is a powerful tool for remote monitoring of structural health, and is a sensitive measurement fastener (bolt) strain or load. Simultaneous measurement of temperature at fastener, where each sensor is individually calibrated can be detected instantly. The Brainy Bolt would be utilized where pipes come into pumping stations or wherever a flange needs monitored for temperature, strain or load on that particular junction. These junctions can account for millions a day at some locations, making a great need for them to stay active. They can be tied into the same fiber optic system as our acoustic sensors, and giving a seamless read on the pipelines system health. Utilizing FiberStrike leak detection and the Brainy Bolt will give gas line owners and citizens ease of mind that if anything starts to occur, the pipeline management team will be notified within seconds of the event and within 10 meters of the incident. You can also combine these with any of our FiberStrike sensors (see appendix for other sensors available). Guess work is gone!

The FiberStrike system is more cost effective than utilizing drones as the sensors will last for over 10 years, and requires nobody going to the physical location unless an event occurs. Other systems still require someone still actively also walking or being in proximity of the gas line. This creates a payback on the system by saving manpower and systems that require electric or gas to utilize. Securing Gas Pumping Stations, Separating Stations, Processing Plants and Main Line Sales “Zinchini is accused of tapping into a 3-inch service line that previously fed gas to the Vandergrift Golf Course on Community Park Drive. A “T” connection sent gas to an above-ground manifold operated by Winfall, according to a police criminal complaint.” Hot tapping illegally is another issue that can cost the gas and oil companies hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. FiberStrike Acoustic Sensors can catch this activity on the gas lines and our security products can keep them from coming into field stations to try to tap in by other means, let alone trying to steal anything they can take. There is also the consideration of vandalism or protestors trying to turn off the main valves so gas cannot move. “A group calling itself “Climate Direct Action” reported online that the actions were taken early Tuesday against Enbridge lines 4 and 67 near Leonard, Minn.; the TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline in Walhalla, N.D.; Spectra Energy’s Express pipeline in Coal Banks Landing, Mont.; and Kinder-Morgan’s Trans-Mountain pipeline at Anacortes, Wash.” The Security industry has made amazing advancements over the past decade, but with every detection solution used today there is still vulnerability to periodic failure due to real world problems that cannot be controlled – namely weather conditions, detection devise visibility, and electro-magnetic interference. Each of our products is completely passive, immune to weather effects and undetectable to would-be intruders. FiberStrike security sensors are also EMP (electromagnetic pulse) resistant and will notify of breach within 3 seconds of event. Keeping people out of areas that are not only dangerous, but where a great loss of revenue can happen quickly if something is disruptive, is also a key aspect of emergency management. The sooner you know an event has occurred the sooner officials can react, and the quicker the gas companies can turn gas lines back on and start generating income that serves as providing tax dollars to the government and income to PA constituents. Our solutions are the “missing link” for nearly every security package. CEL has developed the FiberStrike family of products that address a host of common weaknesses for the two primary areas of Security; the Protected Distribution System (PDS), and the Intrusion Detection System (IDS). The purpose of a PDS is to deter, detect and/or make difficult physical access to the fiber optic communication lines carrying national security information. Approval authority, standards, and guidance for the design, installation, and maintenance for PDS systems are regulated by Government Publication NSTISSI 7003 to U.S. government departments and agencies and their contractors and vendors. That publication describes the requirements for all PDS installations within the U.S. and for low and medium threat locations outside the U.S. PDS is commonly used to protect SIPRNet and JWICS networks. Three of our CEL security products that meet these requirements (Conduit Monitoring, Manhole Intrusion Detection and Handhold Intrusion Detection), unveil a significant technological advancement for protecting our Nation’s most secret networks. Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are primarily focused on identifying possible incidents, logging information about them, and reporting attempts. In addition, organizations use IDS for other purposes, such as documenting existing threats, and deterring individuals from violating security policies. IDS has become a necessary addition to the security infrastructure of nearly every organization, and our other three security products (Direct Burial Perimeter Detection, Fiber Mats and Fiber Platforms) fit very well with their needs. It is important to note that our six security solutions utilize two very different combinations of sensors, fiber, and hardware, but if required, all six systems can be controlled, simultaneously, by our proprietary front-end software. FiberStrike discrete and distributed sensing products may be combined and integrated as required for creating a comprehensive monitoring system. Our advanced embedded designs and complete scalability allow great flexibility in configurations, and all configurations may be managed from a single head-end control system. The FiberStrike advanced design platform allows virtually limitless system configurations to effectively address a broad range of security applications. Our two primary security products, Conduit Monitoring and Direct Burial Perimeter Security, use what is called Distributed Sensing, which means that the entire strand of fiber becomes a sensor that can be divided into detection zones of varying lengths through software programming. Our Direct Burial Perimeter Intrusion Detection system has a wide variety of applications and is primarily designed to warn or alert security forces that an unauthorized intruder is attempting to breach a fence, wall or building. CEL’s distributed fiber is buried at a shallow depth, invisible to would-be intruders, and can accurately sense to within a very narrow range one or multiple targets. The fiber can detect vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and provides information on location anywhere along the fiber path. Our fiber’s main use is to provide a “first alert” that can direct camera and radar technologies to the point of intrusion for tracking and recording the event. CEL’s Perimeter Intrusion detection technology provides very tight detection zone control over long distances. From the border between two nations, to military and government bases, and industrial facilities such as power, gas and chemical plants, we can protect anything with a high level of accuracy. Our system is “tuned” to recognize real-world conditions such as differing soil compositions and seasonal weather conditions to create a signal pattern that indicates a “normal operating condition.” It can be said that our software “learns” to accept gradual changes to the normal operational environment, but still instantaneously reacts to sudden changes. The CEL Conduit Intrusion Monitoring solution was created to address the critical need for protecting a wide array of Secret and Top Secret communications networks that are used by our government, military and international security agencies. There is a critical need for effective Conduit Monitoring in a wide array of Secret and Top Secret communications networks throughout our government, our military, and war zones around the world. By adding CEL distributed sensing fiber to the conduit and cable tray infrastructure the client can instantly recognize, locate and respond to any system tampering. When we talk about Conduit we are referring to fiber optic Communications Conduit, which is usually EMT pipe or flexible molded conduit of various diameters that may be buried, wall mounted or placed in cable trays that are frequently located under or between floors. In military zones there can be dozens of large diameter EMT pipes buried over fifteen feet deep, containing hundreds of critical data fibers. And in many of those applications the pipes are then fully encased in several yards of concrete. These conduits, like the tributaries of rivers, go in many directions and have frequent terminations in locations such as Command-and-Control Centers, underground Vaults, and massive junction boxes (called Handholds) that carry the critical data to many buildings and command posts. Our specially manufactured, sensitive fiber is either pulled or blown through conduit along-side the telecommunications fiber that is transmitting secret and top secret data. The sensitive fiber is then “tuned” to recognize and report a suspected intrusion to within one meter of accuracy for instant response. Our solution will virtually always detect the intrusion as soon as something encounters the Conduit, and will alarm without fail if someone actually touches the sensitive fiber.

Our other four security products (Manhole Intrusion Detection, Handhold Intrusion Detection, Fiber Mats and Fiber Platforms) use what we call Point Detection Sensing. These technologies use fiber optic sensors to ascertain exact points of intrusion and a non-sensitive fiber is used to relay the intrusion address back to the front-end software. FiberStrike Switches provide open/closed status of specific controlled access points such as doors, hatches, manhole covers, floor sections, etc. Being passive, they cannot be electrically bypassed, and they have a rugged, corrosion-resistance packaging available in virtually any configuration. CEL’s advanced API provides a .net event output, easily integrates with other existing Command and Control systems. The API Monitors and provides alerts, location information and data logging when distributed or discrete sensing systems are triggered or disturbed, and the system can be remotely accessible from anywhere in the world. CEL offers the ICS SMS Enterprise TM C3I Command and Control solution including customized graphic user interface that is intuitive and easy to use. We have both commercial and government certified software available for FiberStrike Security Sensors. Proprietary Software IntelliOpticsTM structural health monitoring software, offered by Cleveland Electric Laboratories, is a powerful, user-friendly interface that collects data from multiple sensor types and displays status information via one centralized program. The software provides a template that may be flexibly tailored for virtually any type of bridge configuration and customized by the user to suit their particular application; the software also easily accommodates future changes, upgrades or additions to sensor systems or configurations. Readings from all sensors are available in real-time, presented in both an intuitive graphic form that is easily understood, and in numeric/tabular format; all data is stored to a secure database, with various options for sensor data backup and retrieval available. IntelliOpticsTM may be securely accessed by multiple users from remote locations, with varying levels of user access privileges that are configurable by system administration personnel.

Cleveland Electric Laboratories’ FiberStrike ® technology will provide Pennsylvania with the latest technology to secure infrastructure, notify of leaks and help with emergency planning in the unfortunate event of an accident, explosion or disaster. Utilizing our systems will place Pennsylvania on the cutting edge of the most advanced technologies on the markets today.

APPENDIX 4400/filename/Leak%20Detection%20Study.pdf

Pipeline leak detection system sensitivity to impact events Introduction: On 03 June 2016 we performed a brief experiment to assess the sensitivity of our pipeline leak detection (PLD) system to impact events. We used a custom fixture to drop small ball bearings of various known masses vertically onto the top of our experimental pipeline from different known heights. The fixture is illustrated below. Using basic physics, we could calculate the approximate impact force on the experimental pipeline wall caused by the various known masses and drop distances of the ball bearings. By placing the drop fixture at various locations along the pipeline while operating the PLD system, and watching the triggered event capture screen while dropping ball bearings down the vertical guides, we could assess the sensitivity of the PLD to various known impact levels. Setup: The drop fixture was constructed of PVC. It consisted of three pipes (vertical guides) extending from a saddle designed to rest on the top of the experimental pipeline. The PVC pipes were cut to give drop distances of 10cm, 30cm and 50cm respectively from the top of the pipe to the wall of the steel experimental pipeline when the fixture was placed on top of the experimental pipeline. Vent holes were drilled at intervals in the PVC pipes to avoid air compression effects on the larger ball bearings as they dropped down the pipes. We used ball bearings as drop objects because they are spherical, it doesn’t matter if they tumble as they drop because they are symmetrical, and so they are least affected by variable atmospheric drag effects as they drop. Ball bearings were hardened, so they did not permanently deform (but they did elastically deform) when they impacted the steel test pipeline wall. This is both good and bad when it comes to this sort of experiment, as explained below. The test was performed with the pipeline static, e.g., no water flowing. The triggered event capture screen in the LabView GUI was utilized, and the LabView routines were typical of those used to date. Results: We discovered that the sensitivity of the PLD system to impact events, with the setup configuration described above, probably could be summed up in one word: exquisite. We started with larger ball bearings dropped adjacent to a sensor, and it immediately was clear that the PLD could detect much more subtle impacts. We ended up with the drop fixture next to valve 2, placing the impacts 25 feet from sensor 2 and 75 feet from sensor 1, and collected data using the smallest ball bearings available dropped from the shortest possible distances. Even with a tiny ball bearing smaller than a BB, having a mass of only 130 milligrams and dropping a distance of only 10 centimeters, sensor 2 at a distance of 25 feet easily and repeatedly detected the initial impact and subsequent weaker second and even weaker third bounces. Even from 75 feet distance, sensor 1 also reliably detected this initial impact. To put this somewhat in context, the tracking force at the stylus end of a tonearm on a fine turntable (for those people who still like to listen to music on LPs) 50cm 0 10cm 30cm is commonly 1.25 to 1.5 grams; this is 10X greater than the mass of the tiny ball bearing we dropped 10cm and easily detected. Based on these results, we estimate the PLD demonstrated detection of impacts around the 1 Newton range. Discussion: The 130 milligram ball bearings were the smallest we had in stock, and 10 centimeters was about the shortest practical drop height in terms of repeatability. When dealing with a mass this small and a drop distance this short, small variations make big differences in the results, and it is difficult to calculate the exact number of Newtons force in an impact. The impact force due to a falling object is calculated as = ∙ ∙ ℎ where F = impact force for a falling object, in Newtons m = mass of the falling object, in kilograms g = acceleration due to gravity = 9.8 meters/second2 h = falling height, in meters s = deceleration distance, in meters The denominator in the equation above is important. In an ideal experiment the dropped ball bearing would “bury” itself a precisely known and measurable distance into the pipeline as it decelerates and would come to a stop without bouncing; all of the energy in the falling ball bearing would be transferred into the pipeline wall in a single smooth motion. The test pipeline is made of ordinary A36/1018 type steel, and in reality the tiny ball bearings had such low mass that they did not bury themselves into the pipeline steel to any practically measureable degree. Also, as stated earlier, they were hardened, so they elastically deformed but did not permanently deform … so they bounced a couple times. But if we were to assume a 130 milligram ball bearing dropped from 10 centimeters “buried” itself into the surface of the pipeline 10 microns upon impact and did not bounce, this would equate to 12.7 Newtons force. If we were to assume the same ball bearing dropped from the same distance “buried” itself only 1 micron upon impact and did not bounce (e.g., it stopped over a shorter distance and thus decelerated more violently), this would equate to 127 Newtons force. The wall of the steel pipeline was unpainted and had rusted slightly; this was wiped away before the drop testing, but the surface was not perfect, so it may have accepted a microscopic indentation slightly greater than that of a perfectly smooth and clean steel surface. In general the shorter “bury” distance and associated higher Newtons force figure seem appropriate. However, in addition to seeing the initial impact and weaker second impact after a bounce, we repeatedly and easily saw the signature (after a second bounce) from the much weaker third impact, and this was with the pipeline transmitting the energy from this tiny third impact to a sensor 25 feet away. The estimated falling height for the third (weakest) impact after the second bounce was only about 1 cm. These data lead us to conclude that we likely can detect impact events in the 1 Newton range, or lower if the impact is closer to the sensor. Larger impacts would be detectable from longer ranges. Disclaimer: These numbers are based on the data we collected with the experimental pipeline configuration as it exists here and now. However, this sensitivity seems like a respectable figure.

Other Sensors for Structural Health Monitoring. Strain Sensors & Temperature Sensors: Measures strain on an object and temperature. Accelerometers: Measures vibration, shock and motion. Displacement Sensor: Measures distance and heights. Crack Sensor: Measure movement of identified crack. Can be done up to a three-axis movement. Security Platform: Indicates in less than 3 seconds when someone steps on platform.  Bridge White Paper Cleveland Electric Laboratories is a family-owned business that has been serving our customers since 1920 by proudly providing top-quality products, excellent customer service and exceptional attention to critical details. BACKGROUND Over 600,000 bridges currently exist across the United States. These structures constitute a vital component of our national transportation and economic infrastructure. The average age of these structures is 44 years, and on the basis of periodic inspections, one in nine (over 67,000) have been classified as structurally deficient. Periodic inspections are valuable, but most depend on human observations that may span a few hours or days, and the tools used during such inspections often are limited to binoculars, tape measures, hammers and a chain. As illustrated by the tragic collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis in 2007, legacy inspection methods can miss problems. STATEMENT OF NEED Instrumentation that provides continuous structural performance data over the long term in both current and future bridges is needed to give insights into structural health, to enable timely and appropriate application of maintenance resources to maintain bridge performance, and ultimately to improve the safety, longevity and reliability of such vital infrastructure assets. SOLUTION The Advanced Technologies Group of Cleveland Electric Laboratories (CEL) has designed and installed sensing systems to continuously monitor bridge structural health. CEL sensing systems are based on fiber optics and use light to capture motion. CEL’s sensors utilize tiny sensing elements known as fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs), which are extremely sensitive and capable of measuring any parameter that can be translated into a slight physical movement. FBG-based sensors have reliability exceeding that of legacy electrically-based sensors, are passive and emit no signals, require no electrical power, are environmentally rugged, and are immune to lightning. They are useful during new construction by enabling continuous monitoring of concrete foundation temperatures and curing, and in the tensioning of steel members; the same sensors subsequently will support permanent long-term bridge monitoring under wind and traffic loads, seismic activity, and/or later disturbances such as barge collisions or nearby construction excavations. In addition to structural monitoring, FBG-based sensors also may be installed in strategic locations on or around bridges for security monitoring purposes. Hundreds of FBG sensors of multiple types may be mixed and matched, all being continuously interrogated over one optical fiber bundle from a remote location which may be dozens of kilometers distant from the bridge if necessary. Such attributes make CEL’s sensing systems attractive in comparison to legacy sensing system approaches. Existing unused telecom fiber, if it is of the correct type, may be used to link a bridge with the optical interrogator equipment. The interrogator, which may be installed in an unattended environmental enclosure, is connected via standard Ethernet to a computer located in a monitoring facility. Available system software on that computer provides a single cohesive instrumentation solution that will log and display data from multiple sensor types numerically and/or graphically, in traditional formats with numbers or with intuitive visual icons and alarms overlaid on an image of a bridge at each sensor location. Data or automatically-generated threshold limit alerts provided by the software also may be transmitted in real time to authorized users anywhere in the world via cellphone or internet. INSTALLATION EXAMPLES CEL has installed its sensing systems in multiple new and existing bridge structures; a few examples include the Indian River Inlet Bridge (Delaware), the Arsenal Bridge (Rock Island, IL), the I-20 Bridge (Vicksburg, MS), the Chulitna Bridge (Denali National Park, AK) and the Chiapas and Papaloapan Bridges (Mexico). Such sensing systems have proved their value in providing timely and valuable information on bridge structural health. The experiences gained through the diversity of these installations also has led to valuable insights into appropriate features needed to ensure effective structural sensing solutions for virtually any new or existing bridge design. CONCLUSION Implementing a continuous monitoring capability that enables knowledge of structural health in bridges is a sound economic investment. From a holistic point of view toward monitoring bridge performance over the long term, CEL experience indicates that the most efficient system configuration is one in which all sensors employ a common operating principle and data format, such that all sensor data is readily accessible via one instrumentation system. Such an architecture facilitates implementation of a common graphic user interface, facilitates real-time correlation of variables between sensors, and can allow predictive analysis that otherwise may be difficult to perform if a variety of sensor systems employing different principles (e.g., a mixture of electrical and optical) is employed. CEL provides such a system architectural approach. Taken a step farther, adopting a particular instrumentation architecture as standard across multiple bridges facilitates interconnectivity to a central monitoring facility that can serve multiple bridges hundreds of miles apart, thereby reducing infrastructure costs; the existing telecommunications fiber infrastructure may also be leveraged to further reduce the cost of implementing a standardized instrumentation architecture reporting to a central location. Of all instrumentation system types, CEL experience has repeatedly demonstrated that optical sensing systems and associated software provide by far the greatest capability and performance. FBG-based optical sensing may be regarded as the technology of choice for structural health monitoring — especially for bridge monitoring. Cleveland Electric Laboratories can apply their experience and expertise in optical sensing to provide effective solutions that enable long-term holistic structural monitoring of virtually any bridge of the past, present or future.

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