Global Marine’s innovative subsea interconnectivity solution supports Güralp Systems Ltd deployment of worlds first subsea ‘Smart Cable’

Global Marine’s Specialist Interconnectivity Solutions Team is very proud to have supported a state-of-the-art cable system designed to observe abyssal areas of the Ionian Sea. The “InSEA” cable system was successfully deployed to a depth of 2,300m, 30 Km off the Sicilian coast to monitor the Adriatic and Eurasian tectonic plates.  The objective is to explore the utilization of seismometers and environmental monitoring sensors strategically placed within and around the repeater enclosures of conventional telecommunications cables, ensuring that the gathered data remains both scientifically and operationally uncompromised.

Remote sensors fitted externally to cable


The system comprises of three repurposed submarine telecommunications repeater housings fitted internally with a variety of Güralp Systems Ltd specialist seismometers and data communication equipment and connected externally to both pressure and temperature sensors mounted on the cable 30 m from the main housing.

Seismometers fitted in housings

Using our specialist knowledge and experience Global Marine sustainably repurposed and retro fitted it’s bespoke composite optical/power penetrator technology into the 30-year-old Optical Amplifier Module (OAM) housings and bulkheads. Key to the success was the development and delivery of a unique external “on cable” sensor module pack solution by the Global Marine team.  This provided a protective mounting and data cable interconnect to the temperature and pressure sensors remote from the main housing, negating the need to break into the underlying cable structure.

In the Global Marine Lab in Chelmsford, UK, modifications were made to original OAM terminations so that they could be interfaced with the related sensor packs using sustainably repurposed cable tails of a similar era to the housings. Once completed the units were transported to Catania for system integration on the cable vessel using Global Marine, Universal Jointing (UJ) technology prior to deployment.

Seismometers fitted in housings

The Interconnectivity team supported Güralp in the delivery of this SMART (Science Monitoring And Reliable Telecommunications) cable system, for their customer the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology of Italy (INGV).

Repeater being deployed as part of the SMART cable INSEA wet demonstrator project, off-coast Catania, Sicily, Italy

Using standard marine installation process and techniques, the system was successfully deployed and tested on 20th December 2023 and marks a significant industry milestone through the adoption of Global Marine ’s specialist integration solutions to realise the repurposing of submarine telecoms technology to advance subsea science. Global Marine is proud to have been involved in this unique and exciting project and would like to thank Güralp for entrusting us with the responsibility and showing confidence in our role in its successful execution.

Image of one of the three SMART cable instrumented repeaters on the seabed following deployment. The repeater houses the Güralp seismometer and accelerometer.

Related Links:
InSEA SMART Cable: wet demonstrator project (guralp.com)

https://www.guralp.com/about-us/news-and-events/guralp-successfully-deploys-worlds-first-smart-cable

ITU/WMO/UNESCO IOC Joint Task Force

Submarine cable allows observing abyssal areas in the Ionian Sea – Then24