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Scientific Cables

Updated Thursday 21 May 2015
Scientific cables are those submarine cables that have are being used for various scientific research purposes. These cables can be ones that are currently carrying traffic or that have been retired from service. However protection of these cables is just as important as for the commercial cables since important research and data collection relies on them. In the case of the OOI Cabled Observatory, this is an entirely new, purpose-built system.
Cables in Powered Scientific Use:
ATOC-Kauai

Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii to offshore
This cable runs from the US Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at Barking Sands clockwise around the island, ending at a point 800 m deep on the north slope. The cable is used to connect an acoustic transmitter to shore in support of the ATOC project (Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate; see http://atoc.ucsd.edu/). Transmissions to receivers around the Pacific were used to demonstrate the ability to measure large-scale ocean temperature acoustically. This work is continuing as part of the Office of Naval Research funded North Pacific Acoustic Laboratory (NPAL; http://npal.ucsd.edu). The 50 km long cable is SD List 1 coaxial submarine cable (1.25-inch outside diameter, 17,000-lb breaking strength). The portion of the cable inshore of 10 km is armored.

Contact: Dr. James A. Mercer, University of Washington
HAW-4

Makaha to 23oN
The Hawaii end of the retired first-generation fiber-optic HAW-4 cable is now being used for the ALOHA Cabled Observatory (ACO; http://aloha.manoa.hawaii.edu). The shore station is at Makaha and the ACO node is at Station ALOHA (22 45N, 158W, 4728 m water depth) about 100 km north of Oahu (237 km cable length). The remaining portion of the cable is still connected in California at the Point Arena Cable Station. The ACO provides ~1000 W, 100 Mb/s and 1 us timing to ocean science instruments on the seafloor and in the water column. The ACO provides the infrastructure to support on-going science projects, complementing the Hawaii Ocean Timeseries (HOT) program that has been collecting data at Station ALOHA since 1988.

Contact: Dr. Bruce Howe, University of Hawaii
Ocean Networks Canada - North East Pacific Time-series Underwater Networked Experiments (NEPTUNE)

Offshore Vancouver Island, British Columbia
The 812 km loop of ASN OALC4 cable runs from the Shore Station at Port Alberni to the deep ocean off the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Five trawl resistant Nodes are located on the cable in depths from 100m to 2,600m. Numerous scientific instrument platforms are located on extension cables that run up to 10km from the Nodes. Detailed location information is available in the Notice to Mariners section of the Ocean Networks Canada website http://wwwoceannetworks.ca/

Contact: Adrian Round
Director Observatory Operations
Ocean Networks Canada
Tel: +1 250-472-5364

Ocean Networks Canada - Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea (VENUS) Saanich Inlet Array

Patricia Bay, British Columbia
The 4 km ASN OALC4 cable runs from the DFO Institute of Ocean Sciences to the 100m isobath in Saanich Inlet. The cable terminates at a single trawl resistant Node. Numerous scientific instrument platforms are located within 200m of the Node. Detailed location information is available in the Notice to Mariners section of the Ocean Networks Canada website http://wwwoceannetworks.ca/

Contact: Adrian Round
Director Observatory Operations
Ocean Networks Canada
Tel: +1 250-472-5364
Ocean Networks Canade: Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea (VENUS) Strait of Georgia Array

Strait of Georgia, British Columbia
The 40 km ASN OALC4 cable runs from the Iona Waste Water Treatment Plant to a point south of the mouth of the Fraser River. Two trawl resistant Nodes are located on the cable in 300m and 170m. Numerous scientific instrument platforms are located within 200m of the Node. Detailed location information is available in the Notice to Mariners section of the VENUS website www.oceannetworks.ca

Contact: Adrian Round
Director Observatory Operations
Ocean Networks Canada
Tel: +1 250-472-5364
Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Cabled Observatory

Pacific Ocean, northwest coast of the USA
The OOI Cabled Observatory is a component of the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). It consists of nearly 900 kilometres of fibre-optic cable (SL-17) installed in 2011 across the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate (Pacific Ocean) off the northwest coast of the United States. Two backbone cables run from a shore station in Pacific City (Oregon) out to the ocean spreading centre on the Juan de Fuca Ridge and along the Cascadia subduction zone to Hydrate Ridge.

Connected to the cables at sites of greatest scientific interest, seven Primary Nodes installed in 2012 will distribute power and bandwidth (10 Gb/sec on each port) to an extensive network of sensors located on the ocean floor and in the water column (in progress). Starting in 2013, five nodes will be densely populated with instruments at Hydrate Ridge, Axial Seamount, and two shallow coastal sites west of Newport (Oregon). At each site, high-bandwidth data and video imagery will be transmitted via the Internet and will be accessible to users around the world, from scientists to educators, students, and decision-makers.

Information about the OOI project can be obtained at: http://oceanobservatories.org Details specific to the OOI Cabled Observatory, which is managed by the University of Washington can be found at: http://ooi.washington.edu The OOI cable route as well as the Primary Node locations are depicted on current NOAA navigational charts and available upon request to the University of Washington.

Contact: Cecile Durand
Maintenance Operations Manager, University of Washington
Ocean Observatories Initiative - Regional Scale Nodes
Tel.: +1 206-685-9677
Offshore Communication Backbone (OCB)

Eastern Mediterranean
The Offshore Communication Backbone (OCB) is an Ocean Observing System operating in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is a modular seafloor communications network that is deployed in 2,000 meter water depths, and is directly connected to the Internet.

Contact: Leonard T. Whitlock

General Manager
CSnet International Inc. www.csnetinternational.com
3270 South Highway A1A, Suite 201
Melbourne Beach,
Florida 32951
USA

Tel: +1 404 455 7626 (USA)

Chart - Transverse Mercator Depths In Meters [?]
 
Cables in Unpowered Scientific Use:
CAM-1

Madeira to Portugal
Contacts: Dr. Fernando Santos and Dr. Agusta Flosadottir
COMPAC

Hawaii to Fiji
Contact: Dr. Agusta Flosadottir
Florida - Bahamas

Bahama 1
Contact: Dr. Agusta Flosadottir
HAW-1
Contact: Dr. Agusta Flosadottir
JASC
Contact: Dr. Hisashi Utada
Key West - Havana 5
Contact: Dr. Agusta Flosadottir
NPS Pt Sur

Point Sur to Sur Ridge, 50 km
A retired US Navy acoustic cable with a bottom mounted acoustic receiver on the seaward end. It is operated by the Naval Post-graduate School (NPS; see http://www.oc.nps.navy.mil/~icon/frames/acoustic_frame.html). The acoustic receiver is used for ATOC (receiving signals from an acoustic transmitter off Kauai), local acoustic tomography experiments, and ambient sound studies. This is an armored submarine cable, 3.2-inch outside diameter and 50 km long.

Contact: Dr. Chris Miller, Naval Postgraduate School
PENCAN2-EXT

Gran Canaria to Tenerife
Contact: Dr. Pablo Sangra
TPC-1

Guam to Midway, cross connected at Wake
Contact: Dr. Hisashi Utada
TPC-1

Guam to Ninomiya
Contact: Dr. Hisashi Utada
TPC-1

Guam to Phillipines
Contact: Dr. Hisashi Utada
TPC-1

Makaha to Midway
Contact: Dr. Agusta Flosadottir
TPC-2

Makaha to Guam
Contact: Dr. Agusta Flosadottir