The paper reviews the adoption of distributed temperature sensing (DTS) technology based on Raman backscatter. With one company alone having installed more than 400 units, the DTS is becoming accepted practice in several applications, notably in energy cable monitoring, specialised fire detection and oil production monitoring. The paper will provide case studies in these applications. In each case the benefit (whether economic or safety) will be addressed, together with key application engineering issues. The latter range from the selection and installation of the fibre sensor, the specific performance requirements of the opto-electronic equipment and the issues of data management.
The paper will also address advanced applications of distributed sensing, notably the problem of monitoring very long ranges, which apply in subsea DC energy cables or in subsea oil wells linked to platforms through very long (e.g. 30km flowlines). These applications are creating the need for a new generation of DTS systems able to achieve measurements at up to 40km with very high temperature resolution, without sacrificing spatial resolution. This challenge is likely to drive the development of new concepts in the field of distributed sensing.