18 Apr Investing In Our People Norscan Supports Michael Browns Masters Program
At Norscan, we’re committed to quality, and we firmly believe that quality begins and ends with having the right team in place. We’re always looking for ways to improve our people and our products in effort to better serve our customers; which is why we are supporting our own Michael Brown’s return to school to complete his Masters of Science.
Since joining Norscan as a Junior Engineer in 2001, Brown has been an integral part of the Product Development team. Although he’s been involved in many different aspects of engineering design at Norscan, Brown has always had a passion for optical technology. “Optical technology has always intrigued me,” said Brown, “it has a breadth of applications and is an immensely powerful tool that is really just starting to become more accessible in terms of cost.”
For Brown, this passion for optical technology has been a driving factor in the decision to return to school and complete his Master’s. “Unfortunately for me, at the time I did my schooling, there were no courses geared toward optics in engineering,” Brown said, “It became obvious to me that my knowledge in optics was lacking and that in order to help Norscan progress in developing our technology, it would be helpful to gain a deeper understanding of this field.”
Improving Norscan Technology
Norscan recently developed a technology that is capable of monitoring the physical state of a length of optical fiber through polarization measurements. “In essence, the method we use to monitor the optical fiber turns the entire length of fiber into one big sensor,” said Brown, “Changes to any portion of that fiber can be observed in real time and over time these changes can be analyzed as they might be indicative of some event that someone might be interested in. For example, one might wrap an optical fiber around a piece of machinery, which tends to create vibrations of a particular frequency. Using our monitoring method, we could measure these physical vibrations and notify the operator if they deviate by some known amount.”
In addition to furthering his education, Brown is looking to improve this new technology and ultimately Norscan’s product line through his research efforts. Currently, cable monitoring is only available in environments where a metallic conductor, such as a cable sheath, is present. Brown hopes that this new technology will eventually change the way we monitor cable: “this new technology will allow us to monitor environments where there is no conductor, only glass.”