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Subsea Fiber Optic Cables Damaged by Massive Underwater Avalanche

Subsea fiber optic cables

Subsea fiber optic cables are making the front page of the news again. Our previous blog post highlighted the role of underwater cables in the high-profile NSA spying row. This post will focus on last week’s underwater avalanche, reported by the BBC, which features the global importance of fiber optic sensing once again. 

Scientists reported a two-day sediment avalanche from a West-African canyon to the mouth of the Congo River. The event would have gone unrecorded if it hadn’t broken two underwater communication cables, which slowed the internet speed and data traffic between Nigeria and South Africa. 

Subsea fiber optic cables are responsible for around 99% of global data. Although the avalanche was impossible to predict, the data gathered from the damage will provide insight into cable-breaking currents, helping engineers better understand the hazards they pose. 

This is precisely why our engineers work tirelessly at our R&D facilities, creating stronger and more efficient cables for installation in the Oil & Gas and Marine Industries. Our recent achievement in production is the ability to make 50 km subsea fiber optic cables. 

The new data available in the Congo Study will inform our production process, enabling our engineers to create subsea fiber optic cables with the best chance to withstand such a threat. In addition, there is an opportunity to develop sensing technology even further in the future, to gather data from such events even more accurately. 

We pride ourselves on our pursuit of excellence in all areas of optical fiber. If you want to speak with one of our experts about optical fiber, fiber optic sensing, or fiber optic cables (including our new 50 km cable), feel free and reach out here. 

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