Fiber-optic sensor companies Luna and Optasense link up in US$40m deal

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US-based fibre-optic sensing company Luna Innovations has acquired UK-based firm OptaSense for more than US$40 million in a deal that Luna said transforms it into a distributed fiber-sensing “powerhouse”.

Optasense, which is part of UK aerospace and defense company QinetiQ is a developer of distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology, which captures vibrations and acoustic energy along fiber-optic cables.  Optasense’s products are used in monitoring large, distributed networks such as pipelines, highways and railways and in the power and security sectors.

Luna Innovations develops and supplies distributed fiber optic-based sensing for the aerospace and automotive industries and fiber optic-based test products for the telecommunications industry. The combination of the two companies is expected to create the world’s largest fiber optic sensing company.

President and CEO of Luna Scott Graeff said, “The acquisition of OptaSense marks an incredibly important milestone in Luna’s history and will further support our growth trajectory. With the combination of Luna and OptaSense, we are bringing together businesses with strong adjacencies and a large, combined opportunity.

“This transaction allows Luna to acquire a leader in fiber-optic sensing solutions and distributed acoustic sensing systems of a global size and scale that will truly be transformative to our company. In addition, OptaSense’s success has been driven by an industry-leading technology base and a very talented team of employees. We are very excited about welcoming them to the Luna team.”

OptaSense is to become a fully owned subsidiary of Luna and will continue to operate under its existing brand for the foreseeable future. OptaSense employees will remain within the company, with offices in the UK, Dubai, the USA and Canada.

Steve Wadey, QinetiQ’s CEO, said “We are delighted to announce the sale of OptaSense to Luna, who will provide greater synergies and relevant market access to enable and accelerate their future growth.”

The acquisition provides Luna with access to OptaSense’s DAS intellectual property, products and provides algorithm-development expertise for AI and machine learning development. Luna added that the acquisition will also enable expansion into markets such as security and perimeter detection, smart infrastructure monitoring and oil and gas and is expected to accelerate Luna’s data services and IOT strategy.

 

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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