A recent event held by Portuguese telecom regulator ANACOM highlighted the potential for Scientific Monitoring and Reliable Telecommunications (SMART) submarine cable technology. 

The event, entitled SMART Submarine Cables in a Sustainable Ocean: Global Ocean Observation for Climate Monitoring and Disaster Risk Reduction, featured a number of presentations by experts from the scientific and submarine cable communities.  We will be featuring coverage of their presentations in this and future articles. 

In this article, we are covering a presentation by Miguel Miranda, Chair of the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA).  He noted that Portugal has the 4th European largest marine exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the 11th largest in the world; and the region is still largely unknown.  The EEZ and its extended platform contains a greater diversity of habitats than the marine areas under the jurisdiction of any other European country. 

“Research Vessels are important but not enough.  Fixed observatories and autonomous vehicles are important but not enough.  We need disruptive, innovative approaches for ocean monitoring [such as SMART],” said Mr. Miranda. 

He then highlighted the planned deployment of the new CAM (Continent-Azores-Madeira) Ring by 2024, in the Portuguese EEZ.  The government requested additional services on this new infrastructure, namely public services for civil protection and scientific research.  This mandate will establish a long-range, permanent, and real-time submarine observatory in the Atlantic by using SMART technology, which calls for attaching sensors to the submarine repeaters/cables as well as interferometers in the cable stations for earthquake and tsunami sensing. 

Mr. Miranda also noted research indicating that including SMART technology in the CAM Ring would reduce the probability of false alerts and bring about significant improvements in early warning time for tsunami events – on the order of more than 10 minutes, especially in southern Portugal and Morocco, which are at high risk of such events. 

The watch the video of the event or to download presentations, click here