Fiber optic cable drilling with complex S-curve in Belgium

In August 2022, Brownline surveyed the pilot drilling for the installation of a fiber optic connection under the Scheldt river. The client’s biggest challenge in this HDD crossing was the design: a complicated S-curve over a 270 m / 886 ft length.

In Wetteren, near Ghent, fiberglass provider Fiberklaar is developing their fiber optic network. In order to connect two POP-zones (Point of Presence), a connection under the Scheldt River was installed. The two streets on either side of the river did not quite align. This meant an S-curve was needed to create a smooth connection: a 47° leftward curve followed by a 28° rightward curve.

Highly accurate steering was needed to make these curves on a short distance. Using Brownline’s Drillguide Gyro Steering Tool (GST), the drill head’s position was monitored very diligently. Because the GST sends its data continuously, our client APK Drilling knew exactly what was needed to follow the planned curves. Employing Drillguide GST allowed the client to rely on highly accurate measurements during this challenging drill trajectory.

The crossing was made parallel to the bridge over the Scheldt. After 270 m / 886 ft, the pilot drill punched out next to the bridge slope. This key connection marks a big step in the installation of a full fiber optic network in Wetteren.

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