To measure cable integrity without interfering with main purpose of an installed cable.
The basic idea is to build a device that will monitor the decay in conductance caused by environmental effects. For example: if an instrument cable transmitting a 4-20 mA signal or 1-5V signal is "nicked" and the insulation integrity is compromised, the cable's ability to conduct will slowly start to deteriorate as oxidation takes place. The internal resistance/impedance will increase and in time won’t be able to transmit as effectively.
If this "decay" could be monitored, planned cable replacements can be scheduled before a cable fails. This will ensure accurate instrument measurements and more up time on the production line.
I work in a marine mining environment and get a lot to do with failed cables. Cables get damaged very easily and mostly only noticed when already failed. The time taken to fault find, pull in a new cable and test can reduced by a device like this.
This is still only a concept and ideas are welcome. Criticism good and bad is also welcomed.