IT and Fibroglobal, a Portuguese fiber operator, have joined efforts to pioneer a submarine cable system for the early detection of seismic events.
The cable system, installed between Portugal's mainland, Azores and Madeira, will serve to monitor the oceanic environment and its relation to climate change, as well as to sense live submarine earthquakes.
IT has been promoting this initiative since 2018, within the scope of the project “LEA - Listening to the Earth under the Atlantic”, in partnership with the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA) and the Intituto Dom Luiz (IDL).
Led by IT researchers Yasser Omar, Vasco Sá, Rui Perdigão and Manfred Niehus, the project aims to develop real-time sensing at the bottom of the Atlantic and give way to more reliable solutions for the early-warning of earthquakes and tsunamis, civil protection, and coastal resilience.
The newly announced protocol, signed in September 2020, enables IT to access optical fiber in Fibroglobal’s subsea telecommunications infrastructure and to install measuring equipment in a region of great relevance, from a seismological point of view.
Fibroglobal anticipates the agreement will lead to pioneering experiences worldwide, as well as a better understanding of the monitoring potential of these submarine cables.
According to Fibroglobal, “this is very innovative scientific research, which will help to better understand the functioning of our planet, and at the same time opens the prospect of more reliable warning methods for the protection of populations and coastal resilience. And it has the potential to make Portugal one of the world leaders in this field”.
Fibroglobal installs, manages and operates electronic communications networks in the Central Zone and the Autonomous Region of the Azores, enabling access to high-speed internet and other advanced services, such as telemedicine, distance learning and e-government.