Israel invests in photonics startup to monitor natural gas lines

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Prisma Photonics' advanced fibre-optic-based sensory system is capable of identifying leaks and alerting on damaged pipes (Image: Shutterstock/bht2000)

Israeli startup Prisma Photonics has received investment from state-owned firm Israel Natural Gas Lines Ltd – the main artery for natural gas transmission in Israel.

This is the second state-owned firm to show an interest in the startup, with Israel Electric Company having also made an investment into Prisma Photonics back in April.

The latest investment follows a prior agreement made last year between the two companies, pursuant to which Prisma Photonics will implement its advanced system for continuous monitoring of gas pipeline segments in Israel.

Named ‘PrismaFlow’, the advanced fibre-optic-based sensory system is capable of identifying leaks, alerting on damaged pipes, and identifying any excavation in its proximity. The system relies on optical infrastructure installed adjacent to the line, which transforms the optical fibres into an ultra-sensitive series of sensors capable of detecting minor leaks and alerting their exact location in real-time.

Shmuel Turgeman, CEO of Israel Natural Gas Lines, said: ‘The investment in Prisma Photonics is part of the commitment of INGL to promote safety and monitoring of our gas pipeline infrastructure. Within this framework, we constantly take steps to promoting and implementing innovative and advanced technologies which allow us to address the complex challenges in the field. In Prisma Photonics we found real partners for promoting security of critical infrastructure and a concern for safety of the national supply system.'

Dr Eran Inbar, CEO of Prisma Photonics, added: 'The investment INGL is making in our company now, and those made before it by Israel Electric Company, represent a real vote of confidence in our solution. It's not every day that two state-owned companies invest in the same company. There are tens of thousands of kilometres of critical infrastructure in Israel, from natural gas, electricity, water and all the way to communication infrastructure. Securing such infrastructure is a strategic endeavour for any country, and enables quick detection of damages and malfunctions in the infrastructure, even before they occur. We have revolutionised real-time monitoring of critical infrastructure, and this investment is additional evidence for it.'

Prisma Photonics’ technology is protected by a number of patents, has won a number of international technology competitions, and has been installed at utilities all over the world.

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