SEPTEMBER 27, 2006 -- Alcatel (search for Alcatel) announced that it will support the University of Victoria, Canada, to upgrade an advanced submarine cable network for educational and oceanic research activities. The cable-linked seafloor observatory, known as NEPTUNE Canada, is part of the NEPTUNE (North-East Pacific Time-series Undersea Network Experiments) project, which serves as a platform for real-time oceanic monitoring and scientific experiments.
The NEPTUNE Canada subsea-cabled observatory spans an 800-km loop on the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, off the coast of Canada, with landing points in Port Alberni and nodes located at various points of scientific interest along the cable. The upgrade will consist of increasing the total number of nodes initially installed on the system to five, through which land-based scientists will benefit from enhanced network connections to monitor data and control acoustical, biological, geological science instruments, and other equipment such as HDTV video cameras. These instruments will be interactive, with scientists instructing them to provide an early warning of storms, tidal waves, plankton blooms, fish migrations, and earthquakes, and respond to such events as they happen.
"The project will give researchers continuous access to valuable oceans data and the knowledge gained can be applied to many pressing global issues," says Dr. David Turpin, president of the University of Victoria. "Combining UVic's recognized leadership in oceans research with Alcatel's market-leading submarine technology, we are taking a new significant step in the monitoring and prevention of catastrophic events."
"This network upgrade will increase the understanding of the oceans and to give scientists new tools for studying critical issues," stated Jean Godeluck, president of Alcatel's submarine network activity. "In that scope, submarine cable networks provide an ideal solution, combining high availability for the scientists and good friendly insertion in the environment."
Alcatel's additional contribution falls in the framework of the turnkey agreement signed in October 2005 to deploy Alcatel's optical and IP communications equipment.
Alcatel is installing the submarine cable system, based on DWDM technology, with an initial design capacity of 160 Gbits/sec that can be easily and cost-effectively upgraded in the future. Additionally, Alcatel is deploying its 1696 Metrospan system and 7450 Ethernet Service Switch that provide scalable and reliable Ethernet aggregation from all nodes. The Alcatel 1350 management suite will supervise both terrestrial and submarine optical networking equipment.
NEPTUNE is a joint Canada-U.S. venture led by the National Science Foundation ORION in the U.S. and the University of Victoria in Canada for installing a series of interactive seafloor observing sites to study activity within the ocean environment. The overall project aims to expand the boundaries of ocean exploration and introduce a new way of studying and understanding the planet.