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DSTelecom launches submarine cable to collect vital Earth data

With the introduction of a unique smartcable worldwide

Tróia hosts first €1.4m project

DStelecom, in collaboration with the Portuguese Navy and INESC-TEC, has just launched the first prototype of the K2D project – Knowledge and Data from the Deep to the Space – in the Infante D. Henrique Portuguese Free Technological Zone, in Tróia, which consists of an intelligent submarine cable.

With a unique system in the world, this intelligent submarine cable will allow the monitoring of vital data from the land and the validation of the system architecture, composed of a signal repeater and monitoring nodes that allow the installation of a large number of sensors.

In this prototype, 4 sensors were installed to capture images and collect data on temperature, pressure and maritime acoustics, enabling the location of cetaceans such as whales and dolphins.

The acquisition of data powered by the system will allow the creation of analytical models based on geoinformatics and artificial intelligence, in order to expand the scope of monitoring and the spectrum of knowledge of the interior of the oceans.

dstelecom started this project with a view to creating the smartcable as a differentiating product with added value, which does not yet exist worldwide.

Our strategy is to increase the added value of submarine cables, converting them not only into data highways, but also adding monitoring capacity, associating a sensing layer to these elements that are housed on the ocean floor. This will allow us to present a unique solution to this market, which we hope will spread globally”, says Sérgio Fernandes, CTO at dstelecom.

The structure was already installed in early September and was submerged for several weeks to validate the concept.

We are already working on the new prototype, with more sensors, which can be installed at greater depths, in order to test resistance to more adverse conditions of depth and high pressures. Additionally, in this second phase, the monitoring spectrum will be expanded in order to allow the collection of additional data, namely seismic activity”, concludes the same source.

The project led by dstelecom, in co-promotion with the University of Minho and INESC-TEC and in partnership with CINTAL, AIRCentre and the University of the Azores, has an investment of around €1.4M and is being developed with the aim of monitoring the physical and biological conditions of the ocean depths, data that current weather forecasting systems – satellites, planes and earth stations – are unable to collect. The K2D project, developed in partnership with the MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, should be completed in June 2023.

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