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Development of a comprehensive inventory management system for underground fiber optic conduits.
  • Published Date:
    2013-03-01
  • Language:
    English
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Development of a comprehensive inventory management system for underground fiber optic conduits.
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    Major State Departments of Transportation operate and maintain networks of thousands of miles of conduits, many carrying fiber optic cables that are vital to State communication systems. These conduits are located alongside or across highways and frequently must be located and marked to avoid damage from digging or boring resulting from construction. The existing inventory system often consists merely of sections of pipelines of varying length with differing lengths and sometimes unknown or changing diameters and materials. In order to facilitate the location of fiber optic facilities by operations personnel and enable access to junction boxes and conduits, a computerized connectivity-based inventory system of all external (pipes, junction boxes) and internal assets (conduits, cables) was developed. In a first phase, the system enabled the transition from a flat incomplete and inaccurate system of facility identification to a network model of fiber optic segments and nodes (junction boxes). In this work, a comprehensive hierarchical system of facility cataloguing was achieved through an expansion of the system to include multiple inner layers within pipes and junction boxes, such as Conduits and Cables. This enabled the definition of a Routing entity, an essential component of a comprehensive fiber optic connectivity-based system. Key to the system design is the definition of the multi-layered hierarchical relationship between various levels of facility definition. The ability to “drill-down” from an external layer to an inner component and to establish multi-directional facility contiguity enables the progressive improvement of data quality and the establishment of a reliable connectivity model between facilities. This extended prototype enables the successful future transition from a system based on section records to a more connectivity-based hierarchical asset management model of fiber optic underground facilities, with significant savings in operational costs and reliability of the field investigative work, and the support of improved maintenance management and capacity/capital planning.
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