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How the NEPTUNE Project Wired the Ocean 46

An anonymous reader writes with a story about a unique 500-mile-long high-speed optical cable project that runs along the Pacific seafloor. "The Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is by far one of the Earth's smallest. It spans just a few hundred kilometers of the Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia coast. But what the Juan de Fuca lacks in size it makes up for in connectivity. It's home to a unique, high-speed optical cabling that has snaked its way across the depths of the Pacific seafloor plate since late 2009. This link is called NEPTUNE—the North-East Pacific Time-Series Underwater Networked Experiment—and, at more than 800 kilometers (about 500 miles), it's about the same length as 40,000 subway cars connected in a single, long train. A team of scientists, researchers, and engineers from the not-for-profit group Oceans Network Canada maintains the network, which cost CAD $111 million to install and $17 million each year to maintain. But know that this isn't your typical undersea cable. For one, NEPTUNE doesn't traverse the ocean's expanse, but instead loops back to its starting point at shore. And though NEPTUNE is designed to facilitate the flow of information through the ocean, it also collects information about the ocean, ocean life, and the ocean floor."
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How the NEPTUNE Project Wired the Ocean

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  • Re:/.'d too quickly (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 07, 2014 @05:35AM (#47398063)

    Ah, just go to the source []...

  • Re:Google (Score:5, Informative)

    by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Monday July 07, 2014 @08:05AM (#47398377) Journal

    Google put one of these on the floor of the East coast, rather they are currently engaged in placing one along the east coast for (as I remember) off-shore wind power bus connections

    Aside from both using the word "cable", there is nothing in common between these two projects. One is an undersea fiber optic cable whose primary purpose is scientific exploration, the other is a commercial venture for transporting bulk electrical power.

    Unfortunately, it appears that there is another important difference: NEPTUNE is built and operating, whereas the Atlantic Wind Connection [] appears to have not made much headway, let alone built anything, in the past couple of years. They haven't so much as done a press release [] in the last eight months. The current goal is to build one section along the New Jersey shore []. Estimated completion date: 2021.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.