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    Global Marine completes cable installation for research observatory

    Projects and Operations // August 9, 2016

    Following work it carried out last year recovering failed fibre optic cables serving the Neptune deepsea research observatory off the west coast of Canada, Global Marine Systems Limited has completed the final part of the contract, installing the replacement cables.
     
    An initiative of the University of Victoria, Ocean Networks Canada operates extensive monitoring networks and undersea observatories for scientific research. One of these is Neptine, the subsea infrastructure for which comprises an 800km loop of fibre optic cable connected to various instrumented sites (nodes). 
     
    Neptune and Venus (which Global Marine also helped install) are included in the NAZ (North America Zone) maintenance agreement. However, although the cables to the nodes are covered by the agreement, cables from the nodes to the scientific instruments are not.

    Although the cable recovery work for Neptune, completed in October 2015, proved relatively straightforward, the installation of new fibre optic cables provided a far greater engineering challenge, in part because the mechanical subsea structures weigh circa 1.8 tonnes each.

    “Four cables were installed in total with a pre-jointed mudmat on each end,” explains Paul Stalley, Assistant Maintenance Agreement Manager at Global Marine. “This took place in extreme seabed conditions and demanded a high level of accuracy with regard to mudmat positioning.”

    Successful deployment and positioning required careful monitoring of the subsea plant by Global Marine’s dedicated cable laying vessel in the NAZ, Wave Venture, in combination with touchdown monitoring provided by the Nautilus ROV, Hercules.

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