Subsea Data Systems Receives National Science Foundation Investment for SMART Repeater Development

Subsea Data Systems, Inc., a new partnership between Samara/Data and Ocean Specialists, Inc., announces a new investment from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program toward the company’s efforts to develop SMART (Sensor Monitoring and Reliable Telecommunications) Cable technologies.

SMART Cables include sensor-enabled repeaters (amplifiers) that will be incorporated into future trans-oceanic internet cables.

“The investment from the NSF’s SBIR program catalyzes our efforts to develop the world’s first SMART repeater system and represents a major first step in SMART Cable hardware development. The competition for these grants for startups and small businesses is fierce. The early warning and scientific communities have been asking for over a decade that industry develop this technological innovation, and we recognized that the SBIR program was an ideal fit to jumpstart this effort. NSF’s investment in Subsea Data Systems further strengthens our ability to bring SMART hardware, software, and data management solutions to the commercial marketplace,” said Matt Fouch, President of Subsea Data Systems.

SMART Cables are an innovative real-time deep ocean monitoring technology that will facilitate fundamental improvements in Tsunami Early Warning (TEW), Earthquake Early Warning (EEW), global climate monitoring and telecommunications resiliency. The innovation is to tightly integrate sensors into the amplifiers (“repeaters”) used to boost signals in the optical fibers. Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components will be utilized for nearly all physical elements of the system. The research-grade package includes a 3-axis accelerometer, absolute pressure gauge, and temperature sensor, integrated with data acquisition circuits with suitable dynamic range and precision, a common communications module, an interface suitable for fiber optic cable spans up to 120 km in length, software and firmware necessary to support the data path, an isolated power source, and precision timing. The SMART repeater design is modular, allowing different sensors, adaptation to different repeater housings, or use as a standalone unit.

The development and deployment of SMART Cables will enhance scientific understanding of Earth’s oceans, seafloor, and subsurface via a fundamentally new approach to long-term subsea sensor network deployments. SMART will therefore provide essential new data to reduce disaster risk and improve global climate understanding, thereby reducing societal and environmental vulnerabilities to these long- and short-term threats.

A link to the NSF award can be found here.

About Subsea Data Systems

Subsea Data Systems provides the full spectrum of SMART Cable hardware, software, and data management solutions for a broad customer base of telecommunications providers, U.S. federal agencies, and international groups designing and building SMART Cable projects. Our team melds domain-specific expertise in submarine fiber optic network development and deployment, federal government and academic research and development, and scientific and technical subject matter. Email [email protected] for more details.

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