FibreGUARD System for Fibre Optic Network Protection

FibreGUARD Protection 1FibreGUARD Protection 2

The FibreGUARD system increases the entire availability of critical fibre optic infrastructures and protects the network integrity from loss through blackouts or system failures. FibreGUARD supports companies in assuring the availability of the fibre optic infrastructures used and their associated mission critical systems cost effectively. Through optical bypasses, the switch increases the tolerance of fibre optic networks regarding both single and multi point failures and limits the effects of a brownout or complete system outage. The FibreGUARD system is hooked up between the fibre optic switch and the fibre optic link. If, for example, a failure at one network junction should occur, then FibreGUARD will bypass the active network components and optically maintain the communication beyond the non-operational junction. FibreGUARD is suitable for implementation in both ring and bus topologies. It maintains the operation of a ring topology even when more than one networking node is failing – such as during a regional blackout. On the other hand, bus topologies can benefit as well from the application of FibreGUARD as with the failure of a network node, communication with the network station behind is maintained.


Installation scenario:

FibreGUARD Protection diagram

In developing FibreGUARD, particular focus was placed upon reducing any possible sources of error, thus the use of firmware as well as complex semiconductor technology was intentionally avoided. Its robust design makes it suitable for the harshest of environments. Typical areas of application are, for example, remote locations or locations requiring long journeys. Application scenarios include everything from wind energy plants or pipeline monitoring and automated technologies.

Overall features:

  • Adherence to compliance requirements, service level agreements (SLAs) and legal specifications
  • Technical risk avoidance with the help of additional redundancies
  • Cost prevention through reduction of network junctions affected by a failure
  • Decrease in maintenance costs through uninterrupted maintenance and repair
  • Increased availability of ring and bus topologies through optical bypass of active components during a brownout or complete system failure
  • Protocol and manufacturer agnostic through its passive optical connectivity
  • Long life span, robust design, no configuration work (plug and forget), high temperature resistance
  • Alarm relays for external means of alarm

Fibre Optic Ring Networks:

FibreGUARD Protection Ring Topology

High-performance fibre optic networks in ring topologies are more often found in the industrial and energy fields, this is due to the requirement for fault tolerance in singular network nodes. Implementing FibreGUARD companies have cost effectively increased the margin of error across their fibre optic rings, beyond the single point of failure.

Industry & Automated Technology

FibreGUARD Protection industry diagram

Today, modern companies in automated technology rely on redundant fibre optic rings for Industrial Ethernet applications in order to avoid costly production downtimes. However, the simple redundancy of a self-healing fibre optic ring is often no longer sufficient in complex industrial applications. Here, FibreGUARD creates additional safeguarding through redundancy. In the case of a failure, FibreGUARD bypasses the active Industrial Ethernet switch optically and thus protects the entire fibre optic ring from breaking down, even when several systems have been affected by the failure. During maintenance work, active components can therefore be replaced without affecting the whole production process since FibreGUARD ensures the integrity of the network during a device replacement.

Energy Production and Wind Energy

FibreGUARD Protection Energy

Energy and data networks are continually growing together. Today, wind energy plants and intelligent local network stations are connected via fibre optic rings in order that they can transmit and collate measurement and control system data. The application of FibreGUARD actively supports wind energy plant operators in reducing maintenance costs and optimising maintenance and repair processes. Before FibreGUARD was introduced, only single wind energy plants on a fibre optic bundle could be powered down for maintenance purposes. Now however, it is possible to conduct maintenance on several plants at the same time without the communications of the entire fibre optic ring breaking down.

Fibre Optic Bus Networks:

FibreGUARD Protection Bus Topology

Due to the distances achievable with fibre optic cabling, its availability is now more commonplace where the monitoring of measuring data is transmitted more reliably over longer distances, for example when connecting signal and traffic information systems along motorways or railway lines. Contrary to fibre optic networks within ring topologies, bus topologies offer no additional resilience. If a single network component is affected by a failure or brownout, then communication with the network components behind the failed component is no longer possible. This can quickly lead to entire regions being affected by data transmission failures, even though only one network component has failed. FibreGUARD increases the reliability of fibre optic cabling through optical bypass, allowing communication beyond the network junction affected by the blackout to continue as normal.

Traffic Engineering, Tunnel & Railway

FibreGUARD Protection Traffic diagram

The reliability in fibre optic networks is of vital importance for operational traffic infrastructure. Control centres monitor and manage the traffic flow as well as signal and alarm systems. Failure of these important systems is more than just an inconvenience and can lead, in extreme cases, to a risk in safety for those road users. FibreGUARD provides for additional safeguarding and protects the infrastructure through optical bypass. In the event of a blackout, the switch prevents other operational stations from being cut off through the interruption of the optical connection from the fibre optic network. This comes into effect particularly in difficult to reach areas, such as within traffic tunnels. For this, FibreGUARD provides an important window of operation for such necessary maintenance and repairs.

Raw Materials Production, Coal and Strip Mining

FibreGUARD Protection Raw Materials

The growing automation of underground mining has led to an operational fibre optic infrastructure becoming one of the most important requirements for the application of modern mining methods today. Process information must be exchanged both over and underground. Mining and conveyor systems send important measuring and control data via IT control systems. The harsh environment puts extreme demands on the data transmission systems applied. FibreGUARD has been especially designed for this environment. Through intentional avoidance of failure prone firmware and sensitive semiconductor technology, FibreGUARD guarantees smooth operation even under the most difficult conditions. When modification work is being executed on the infrastructure, FibreGUARD allows a simple extension of the fibre optic cabling. By installing conveyor systems, the effects on the entire network and other mining areas will be kept to a minimum.


Basic functions: Optical 2 channel bypass switch. Defines lower/upper switching threshold for switch over (Indication via LEDs)
Interfaces: 2x Ring Port (SC duplex, SM); 4 2x Switch Port (SC duplex, SM); 1x Alarm Relay (3-pin screw terminal).
Alarm Relay switched from feedback signal of the optical switch, failure indication os power is down or optical switch in bypass mode
Wavelengths: 1310 ±40 nm, 1550 ±40 nm
Insertion Loss: 1.9 dB max. (2.0 dB at -40 °C)
Switching Time: 10 ms max
Power Supply: Input Voltage 18..60 V DC, typ. 24 V DC; 2x redundant vie two pluggable screw terminals on the top; Overvoltage protection for industrial environments
Alarm Contact: Potential free contact, max 60 V DC and 0.5 A
Housing: Stainless Steel, IP30

LED Displays:

Power1, Power2: Monitoring LEDs for the redundant power supply inputs (green = valid operation voltage, red = outside of valid operating voltage, off = device without power)
Pass: Status of the optical switch (green = optical ports forwarded to the switch, red/off = optical ports in bypass mode)
Operating Temperature (Continous Operation): -30..60 °C
Operating Temperature (Intermittent Operation): -40..70 °C (Derating Margin may reduced up to 50% at 70 °C)
Approvals (EMC Immunity): EN 61000-6-2, ,EN 61000-4-2, EN 61000-4-3, EN 61000-4-4, EN 61000-4-5, EN 61000-4-6, EN 61000-4-8, EN 61000-4-9, EN 61000-4-10, EN 61000-6-29
Approvals (EMC Emissions): EN 6100-6-4, FCC part 15A
Approvals (Vibration Behaviour): EN 60068-2-6, EN 60068-2-31,EN 60068-2-64
Safety: UL 60950
Dimensions: 50 x 108 x 116 mm (w x d x h)

Live Demo of FRM220 Chassis

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