Somni and TNO conclude licence agreement for use of patents

Wider spectrum of monitoring solutions through new innovative fibre-optic sensors • 27 Nov 2018

Somni Corporation B.V. and research institute TNO today signed an agreement that allows Somni to use TNO patents for new, innovative fibre-optic sensors. Somni is a manufacturer of optical sensors that need to deliver outstanding performance in exceptional conditions. The field of application of these sensors includes aerospace and wind energy. The use of fibre optics makes Somni’s sensors insensitive to all kinds of electromagnetic disturbances, and they can be read over distances of several kilometres. The new licence agreement with TNO enables Somni to further strengthen its fibre-optic sensor activities worldwide.

For more information about this cooperation get in touch with Rogier Verberk

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Wider monitoring solutions

Somni specialises in providing sensor solutions using telecommunication fibre optics and light to reliably collect information from the surroundings. Some of the specific applications where these sensors are used include the monitoring of offshore structures above or below sea level and the measuring of vibrations in a high vacuum with a fluctuating magnetic field and temperatures of several hundred degrees. These conditions demand the maximum and sensors based on conventional (electrical) techniques tend not to be up to the task.

Jac. Gofers, CEO of Somni Corporation B.V.: “This is an important agreement for Somni, enabling us to further expand our existing product portfolio with innovations from TNO. This allows us to offer our customers an even wider spectrum of monitoring solutions, where the condition of assets can be determined even better on a daily basis. Better identification of safety and maintenance aspects means that safety risks are covered and unnecessary maintenance avoided.”

Since 1985 TNO has been involved in the development of fibre-optic sensors. The first applications were aimed at underwater noise for the Dutch ministry of Defence. A few years later, partly due to technical developments abroad, this technology became the topic of greater attention and an increasing number of possible applications emerged. TNO is currently applying fibre-optic sensor technology to monitor bridges and roads, and there are developments in the field of very small fibre-optic sensors for diagnostics in the human body.

“This licence agreement underlines TNO's position as a supportive research institute, especially for Dutch companies, by creating innovations that boost their global competitiveness. TNO, in turn, needs high-tech companies like Somni that recognise the commercial potential of a certain technology and have the entrepreneurship to successfully market the TNO patent portfolio,.” says Arnold Stokking, managing director of TNO Industry.


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