Technicians Successfully Complete NEPTUNE Canada’s Underwater Network Repair

Recently, a team on the cable vessel Global Sentinel arrived back in Victoria after successfully repairing a faulty connection that resulted a complete NEPTUNE Canada’s network shutdown on September. 20.

Technicians from NEPTUNE Canada and equipment provider Alcatel-Lucent had tracked the problem to the Folger node site in the vicinity of Bamfield where instruments observe coastal processes.

They then rerouted power and data from the rest of the network to flow in the opposite direction around the 800-km loop while arrangements were made to get a ship to the Folger site.

A faulty branching unit was replaced using a remotely operated vehicle.  NEPTUNE Canada’s maintenance budget covers cost of the repair.

“Faults such as this are to be expected on subsea cable networks and they underscore the pioneer nature of our work,” says Dr. Kate Moran, director of NEPTUNE Canada. “Experience gained from this repair will be shared with builders of similar systems all over the world, in particular by researchers in the US who have just completed the first phase of installing a complementary subsea system scheduled to go online by 2014.”

Throughout the repair service there was no loss to NEPTUNE Canada’s information archives and all instruments on the system are now back online.

NEPTUNE Canada is part of the University of Victoria’s world-leading Ocean Networks Canada Observatory, which uses innovative engineering, data communication and sensor technologies to gather continuous real-time data and images from the ocean depths.

Subsea World News Staff , November 24, 2011;  Image: NEPTUNE Canada