Distributed Electrical Sensing (DES) is a precision measurement technology that allows power system operators to protect and monitor their networks with unprecedented flexibility. Using the optical fibre within power networks, DES makes high-fidelity measurements of voltage and current at many locations over distances of up to 60 km from a substation.

The entire sensor array is completely passive, meaning no control power or auxiliary equipment is needed at sensing locations. Synchronised waveform data from all sensing locations is available at the speed of light, enabling a wide range of protection, control, and monitoring functions to improve reliability and security, reduce unplanned maintenance, and significantly reduce operational cost.

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Dr Neil Gordon

Dr Neil Gordon

Head of Sensor Technologies

Why choose DES?

Quick to install

Fast and safe to install. Commissioned from a single location. No maintenance requirements.

DES deployments are simple and elegant, avoiding complex wiring and telecoms. Full sensor networks supporting protection or monitoring are typically installed and commissioned in days rather than over weeks.

Synchronised measurements

Measurements synchronised to within one microsecond, and processed in under 200 microseconds.

DES delivers the world’s fastest protection and monitoring systems. Make instant and informed decisions on your network with synchronised waveform data.

Long distance monitoring

Easily compare multiple remote measurements across hard-to-reach locations.

Monitor your networks at scale with multiple sensors deployed over 60 km of optical fibre, with no requirement for power or data networks at the sensor location.

Resilient technology

Ultra-stable year-round in the most challenging environments.

Simple and resilient sensors that automatically adjust to environmental conditions, ensuring accuracy in all conditions.

Cyber secure

Cyber-secure sensor networks with no data exposure.

Our hardened sensor networks transmit no data. Data is only produced within the safety of the substation environment, ensuring your vital insights are never exposed.

Passive sensor networks

Fully passive sensing of voltage and current.

Using optical fibre within power networks, Distributed Electrical Sensing enables high-fidelity measurements of voltage and current at many locations over distances of up to 60 km from a substation.

Typical deployment

Our DES technology is quick and easy to install on power grids, offshore wind and industrial networks. Our Passive Secondary Converter (PSC) attaches easily to secondaries of any industry-standard CT or VT, at any voltage or current level. The PSC converts the secondary quantity into optical signal in the fibre, and is packaged as a single-phase (outdoor) or three-phase (rack-mountable) component. Published measurements and protection methodologies follow industry standards.

Measurement performance

  • High fidelity synchronised waveforms available for analysis
  • All sensors comply with relevant IEC standards for accuracy and performance over a wide range of environmental conditions
  • Meets timing, latency and data output requirements of IEC 61850, IEC 61869
  • Full visibility of harmonic content and transients, such as pecking faults
  • World’s fastest multi-zone protection system


What is Distributed Electrical Sensing?

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