New optical current sensor will measure current more accurately while offering environmental benefits

MIDDLETOWN, RI, July 22, 2002 — KVH Industries announced recently that it has signed a Product Development Agreement with the ABB High Voltage Business Area to cooperate in the development of a new fiber optic current sensor.

The agreement follows a series of joint research projects during which the companies explored the feasibility of using fiber optics to measure current in high-voltage power lines.

The new fiber optic sensors allow more accurate energy metering and wider bandwidth and improved safety over conventional technologies. Josef A. Durr, who has worldwide responsibility for ABB’s High Voltage Business Area, noted two additional benefits that especially comply with ABB’s research and development strategy: “The new technology decreases the number of variances and thus helps reduce delivery times. It also provides a more environmentally friendly solution.”

“Free trade and competition between electricity providers place extra requirements on flexibility, automation, and metering in power networks,” commented KVH president and chief executive officer Martin Kits van Heyningen.

Currently, the conventional instrument transformers used to measure currents and voltages in high-voltage grids are oil- or gas-filled systems that provide analog outputs. The new fiber optic current sensor is expected to be significantly smaller and more accurate than existing devices, and it will provide instantaneous digital measurement of the current.

Furthermore, the transmission of the sensor signal by means of optical fibers provides an inherent insulation against high voltages.

KVH Industries, Inc., designs and manufactures products that enable mobile communication, defense navigation, and direction sensing through the use of its proprietary mobile satellite antenna and fiber optic technologies. The company is developing next-generation systems with greater precision, durability, and versatility for communications, navigation, and industrial applications.

An ISO 9001-registered company, KVH has headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island, with a fully operational optical fiber and component manufacturing facility in Tinley Park, Illinois, and a European sales, marketing, and support office in Hoersholm, Denmark. ABB ( is a global power and automation technology group that enables utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. ABB has 152,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

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