Navy looks for submarine cable for subsea sensor systems

Lightwave’s sister publication Military & Aerospace Electronics (M&AE) reports that the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) has issued a source sought notice for its Undersea Cable System and Sonar System Technology Advances effort, hoping the commercial undersea cable industry will supply technology to link sensor systems used for maritime surveillance.

Lightwave’s sister publication Military & Aerospace Electronics (M&AE) reports that the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) has issued a source sought notice for its Undersea Cable System and Sonar System Technology Advances effort, hoping the commercial undersea cable industry will supply technology to link sensor systems used for maritime surveillance.

While pairing “surveillance” and “fiber optics” might make the industry a bit nervous after the scandal surrounding the National Security Administration’s (NSA’s) tapping of fiber-optic networks, this particular instance appears more benign – or at least less covert. Maritime surveillance networks usually rely on sonar listening arrays along the ocean floor, according to M&AE. Examples include systems installed in the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom (GIUK) gap, the Straits of Florida and Yucatan Channel gateways to the Gulf of Mexico, and the Strait of Malacca in Indonesia. The systems monitor ship traffic, particularly the locations and movements of military surface ships and submarines, M&AE says.

SPAWAR’s notice targets submarine cable technology from the telecommunications and oil and gas industries, particularly:

  • undersea data transport and power distribution networks
  • network sensing and management
  • auto fault localization and correction
  • data transport
  • underwater connections for modular systems expansion
  • installation and protection methods
  • remote sensor integration
  • improved array configurations and construction
  • compact remote power sources for standalone systems.

SPAWAR will further describe what it’s looking for in a briefing July 15 at SPAWAR headquarters in San Diego. Interested parties should RSVP no later than July 8 to the Navy's Don Ringel by email at Don.Ringel@navy.mil, or by phone at 858-537-0112. In addition, relevant white papers no longer than 50 pages can be submitted online to SPAWAR at https://e-commerce.sscno.nmci.navy.mil/. Email questions to the Navy's James Leal at James.Leal@navy.mil.

More information also is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DON/SPAWAR/SPAWARHQ/SPAWAR_Headquarters_MKTSVY_EFA72/listing.htm.

For more information on fiber-optic cabling and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer's Guide.

More in Packet Transport