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Innovative FiberSense technology rolled out to advance Palmerston’s community insights

City of Palmerston is introducing FiberSense technology, making Palmerston the first city in the world to receive a large-scale deployment of the ground-breaking data monitoring software.

The $2 million project is in partnership with the Northern Territory Government and will see the delivery of a FiberSense network within the Palmerston CBD, Bakewell and Tiger Brennan Drive. 

Founded by born and bred Darwinite Dr Mark Englund, FiberSense is a new technology paradigm for digitising cities at an unprecedented level. Based on vibration sensing, the capability uses a cutting edge Australian technology to monitor and analyse moving object and event data in real time, with insights produced from this data allowing Council to plan better for the future of the community.

“We are ready to bring Palmerston into the forefront of the digital economy with the introduction of FiberSense,” City of Palmerston Mayor Athina Pascoe-Bell said.

“This data has huge potential use ranging from traffic counts to deploying autonomous vehicles. We are excited that this network and its valuable data outputs will be up and running in as little as three months.”

The low impact fiber optic cable network has been designed to detect vibrations in real time to understand vehicle and people movements over wide areas. 

The 60-kilometre network will stretch from Tiger Brennan Drive, through the Palmerston City Centre and through Bakewell. Bakewell was chosen for its ideal mix of residential community facilities as a typical Palmerston suburb. 

Palmerston will become one of the first municipal scale deployments of the sensing and data collection grid to cover an entire precinct. 

FiberSense has engaged Queensland based company, Torus Networks to complete the specialised installation of the technology. Torus Networks will utilise local-based contractors to assist with the work.

“FiberSense is a new digital platform built on our ground-breaking sensing technology, which we call Vibration Detection and Ranging Technology,” said founder Dr Mark Englund. 

“Our technology captures and analyses vibrations of nearby objects like cars or people using fiber optic cables. The use can range from simple things like monitoring excavations to more critical safety initiatives.”

This investment by the Northern Territory Government and City of Palmerston aligns with City of Palmerston’s digital and smart city strategies, which focus on implementing smart technology to enhance safety, liveability and growth opportunities.

“This exciting project is a game changer for Palmerston, making the community safer and more liveable while encouraging new and innovative ways to improve our communities with technology,” said the Northern Territory Minister for Digital And Corporate Development, Paul Kirby.

“Connecting Territory communities is a key direction of the Territory Labor Government and this optic fibre will benefit Territorians in many ways including detecting earthquakes, identifying water leaks and can even connect to traffic light systems and assist emergency vehicles.”

The Northern Territory Government has funded $1.5 million, with City of Palmerston funding the remaining $500,000. This will cover the installation of the network and five years’ worth of valuable data.

With no special equipment required, the network does not include any surveillance cameras or identifying features in its data collection. The network is quick and easy to install, with the project scheduled to be up and running within three months.

For more information, visit www.palmerston.nt.gov.au

The Hon. Paul Kirby MLA and City of Palmerston Mayor Athina Pascoe-Bell.