At-Sea Installation Phases

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Installation of the OOI at-sea cabled network will take place in phases over the next few years:

1) Summer 2011: The cable ship will deploy the backbone cable in seven separate segments. As the cable laying vessel approaches the end of each respective segment, a grapple line will be attached and deployed for later retrieval at the time of the node installation. Cable segment ends will be sealed.

2) Summer of 2012: A vessel will be mobilized for installation of the primary nodes. The cable ends will be recovered at the location of each primary node, and the nodes will be connected to the backbone cable. The primary function of the backbone cable will be to distribute power and communications from the shore station to subsea primary nodes. The nodes will convert high-power voltage to a lower level and distribute to science ports along with communications and timing signals.

3) 2013: Low-voltage nodes and junction boxes will be connected to primary nodes by extension cables and will provide data and power interface to small groups of scientific instruments. In total, the OOI cabled network will consist of over 100 sensors linked by 60km of extension cables.

4) 2014: Moorings will be installed at Hydrate Ridge and Axial sites.

–Cecile Durand, OOI Maintenance Operations Manager, University of Washington, onboard the TESubCom Dependable