The sensing of submarine telecommunications cables is a promising solution for obtaining seabed data, which is essential for monitoring natural phenomena and understanding environmental issues. They are also critical for the management of civil protection emergencies. Sensors will be integrated into future telecommunications cables, allowing for increased spatial coverage, with real-time data, in continuous mode, over months, years, and even decades. It will be the global submarine cable network called SMART - Science Monitoring and Reliable Telecommunication.
Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA) and Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL) are collaborating on the development of a new generation of submarine optical fibers within the scope of the LEA – Listening to the Earth under the Atlantic consortium.
The consortium aims to research, develop and implement methodologies for geoenvironmental detection in submarine cables. A protocol was recently signed with the company Fibroglobal to boost the development of scientific research projects, within the scope of the use of submarine telecommunications cables to study the detection and early warning of earthquakes and tsunamis. Fibroglobal manages the submarine cable network in the Azores archipelago, namely between the islands of Faial, Flores, Corvo, and Graciosa. Testing with DAS (Distributed Acoustic Sensing) technologies is planned, which will allow the measurement of disturbances along the entire length of the cable in real-time reflectometry mode, with a range of up to tens of kilometers. Due to its characteristics, it could be particularly useful for seismic monitoring in the Azores.
IT team is made up of Vasco Sá and Manfred Niehus, in addition to and in the first phase, Yasser Omar. Soon, within the scope of the FCT MODAS project, will be joining Emmanuel Cruzeiro and Paulo André, from IT Optical Communication Systems and Networking Lx Group.
Photo credits: Azoresacores.com