A made-in-Canada innovation aims to become the new global standard for pipeline monitoring

With detection rates that are close to the speed of light, high fidelity dynamic sensing, or “HDS”, can easily be seen as the ‘Star Trek’ of modern sensing technology.

But, unlike Star Trek, HDS is very real, and its application in pipeline operations is beginning to revolutionize the detection and prevention of pipeline leaks. That’s why the HDS innovator, Calgary-based Hifi Engineering, was recently awarded the 2019 Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) Foundation’s Innovation Award.


A Canadian invention that’s creating jobs and contributing to continuous improvement


About Pipelines Blog spoke with Hifi’s President and CEO, Steven Koles, to find out what this award means for the company.

“The CEPA Foundation Innovation Award is huge validation for our work,” said Koles. “We’re so proud of this technology. It’s a Canadian invention that’s creating clean tech jobs and contributing in a big way to pipeline safety and continuous improvement.”


In a nutshell, here’s what High Fidelity Dynamic Sensing (HDS) does for pipelines


  • Specialized fibre optics (not to be confused with telecom fibre optics) are fully distributed along the pipeline, so the technology can sense every centimetre, enabling operators to know exactly where a potential leak occurred.
  • HDS sensing is a 24/7 activity, with a level of accuracy that can detect a pinhole leak.
  • HDS also senses and alerts the operator to any activity or intrusions that could result in a leak, including: third party intrusion; geotechnical events, such as earthquakes, landslides, slope movement and changes in strain on the pipe; and very small temperature anomalies.

Koles notes that pipeline operating companies have been involved in rigorous testing of the technology. “We’ve proven ourselves,” he notes proudly. “And we’re starting to see tremendous momentum, not just in Canada and the U.S., but in other areas of the world such as Europe and Australia. We believe this technology can become the new global gold standard.”

Watch this brief video for a demonstration of how HDS works to safeguard pipelines from potential damage and detect even small leaks.


The CEPA Foundation Innovation Award


The CEPA Foundation Innovation Award is determined by three criteria:

  1. Significant improvement or a new, unique process, product, or outcome;
  2. Stakeholders and customers find outcomes meaningful; and
  3. The innovation is able to last, and can be used by the entire industry, with processes to ensure its success and share learnings broadly across the country.


“The competition was tough for this award,” said Rob Beamish, CEPA Foundation’s Executive Director. “We felt Hifi’s technology is a great example of the industry’s continuing adoption of advanced solutions to help deliver energy in the safest and most reliable way possible.”

Learn more about the CEPA Foundation.