Overhead Fibre Optic Line Through WA’s South West
Site Location: South West WA
Project Manager: Ian Pinkard
Lead Technician: Ryan Sommerfeld
Fibre Optic Splicer: Andrew Wilson
Quality Standards Applicable:
AS/NZS:3080:2013 and AS/NZS 11801:2019
Specialist grounding requirements to work on transmission line fibre optic connection whilst transmissiong line remained active
Special Project Achievements: Working through challenging conditions to complete project works with minimal disruptions
During July this year Lightspeed Communications & Electrical’s team of specially trained fibre optic technicians have been working with on commissioning a new overhead fibre optic line through Western Australia’s southwest region.
This project is utilising a mixture of OPGW (optical ground wire) and ADSS (all dielectric self-supporting) optical fibre cables strung between electrical transmission towers to link sites across the region.
OPGW cables are dual purpose cables that act as both ground wires to connect adjacent towers in the event of a lightning strike and include a tube of fibre optic strands within the core of the cable. These cables are used extensively in transmission networks around the world to span the large distances between active network equipment that monitors and controls the transmission of electricity.
ADSS cables are similar to a standard fibre optic cables but with extra strands of Kevlar that allow it to be strung on transmission poles without the need for any metal support wires between the poles.
Lightspeed’s team of technicians have been working alongside specialist contractors to remove the cabling from the above ground storage reels, ground all equipment and then prepare and splice the fibre optic cables within steel joint enclosures, before remounting the cables and joints back to their final location.
This project has coincided with the wettest start to July in recent years for WA’s southwest which has added another challenge for our team to overcome. Though there has been need to prioritise some locations over others due to access conditions, work has continued through all but the worst conditions whilst maintaining Lightspeed’s commitment to safety at all times.