ASN to Build Cable Infrastructure for Subsea Laboratory Off Sicily

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has signed a contract with Italy’s Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucelare (INFN) for the construction of a subsea cable infrastructure  for the IDMAR project.

The IDMAR project involves the construction of a multidisciplinary underwater laboratory distributed for scientific and technological research in the marine environment, hosted by the KM3NeT project, the neutrino telescope under construction off the Sicilian coast, at 3,500 meters depth.

The subsea infrastructure, under the project, is being financed by the Regione Siciliana PO-FESR 2014 – 2020 and is included by the Ministry of Education, University and Research MIUR, among the Infrastructures considered to be a priority by the National Research Infrastructures Plan.

Located off Southeastern Sicily, the submarine cable network will transmit real-time data collected by the detectors deployed at the bottom of the sea to be used by researchers from different disciplines to provide a better understanding of physical processes in deep marine environments.

ASN will supply a substantial portion of the new submarine infrastructure consisting of an electro-optical cable and several submarine devices, managed and controlled from the ground, to transfer the data in a bidirectional land / sea and energy to the different equipment scientific places on the seabed. The technology provided by ASN is based on the DCFO solution, initially developed for Oil & Gas applications, and now applied to IDMAR.

Giacomo Cuttone, INFN – LNS Director, said: “This project will offer INFN and the Italian scientific community the opportunity to develop advanced applications to implement new research models.The technology provided by ASN will help to strengthen our research tools in astroparticle physics and in other fields, such as seismology for the study of geophysical events monitored in real time in collaboration with Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) and CNR (Italy’s National Research Council).”

Philippe Piron, president of Alcatel Submarine Networks said: “We are proud to further cooperate with INFN in such an ambitious project, which reconfirms submarine systems’ ability and versatility for the new applications offered in the field of undersea scientific observation. This new contract also confirms our expertise in addressing new market segments.”

ASN and INFN had previously cooperated in the deployment of the first branches of the submarine system network deployed off East Sicily, used to install submarine observatories capable to monitor acoustic, geophysics signals, bio-luminescence and cosmic rays.

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