Fiber optics research and the Gaza strip conflict

Researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology say they have come up with a way to use the same sort of fiber-optic cables used for telecom to detect tunnel excavation at depths of more than 60 feet. The American Technion Institute notes in its press release that this technology could be used, for example, to sniff out the sort of tunnels "used for smuggling weapons into Gaza."

The researchers will go into more detail on their findings at the Defense, Security and Sensing Conference of SPIE in April in Orlando. The researchers describe the possible use of technology called Brillouin optical time domain reflectometry (BOTDR) to create an underground fence for tunnel excavation detection.

Dr. Assaf Klar (shown here) says in a statement: “Tunnel excavation is accompanied by the release of stresses that cause permanent – though very tiny – displacements and strains in the ground. If you can measure these strains in the soil with sensitive equipment, you can find the tunnel’s location.”

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