MacArtney and Elettra Partner to Enhance INGV’s Subsea Monitoring Capabilities

(Image credit: MacArtney)

MacArtney has announced a partnership with Elettra Tlc to deliver critical subsea infrastructure for the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), enhancing its capacity for environmental monitoring and research.

The scope of this collaboration involves installing and connecting a new subsea power, communication, and data transmission network located 2,200 meters deep and 35 kilometers offshore from Catania, Italy, where INGV will strongly enforce its existing marine site as part of the ITINERIS project (Italian Integrated Environmental Research Infrastructures System).

Elettra and MacArtney have joined forces to supply essential and dependable subsea infrastructure, ensuring high-quality performance and data efficiency for INGV’s operations.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with MacArtney on this significant project for INGV,” said Elio Rubino, Managing Director of Elettra Tlc. “Our combined effort ensures a robust and reliable system, providing INGV with the tools necessary for critical environmental monitoring.”

Comprehensive Technical Scope

In this partnership, Elettra and MacArtney will handle different but complementary responsibilities.

Elettra will supply the main electro-optical submarine cable (MEOC). Their scope also includes ensuring robust connections and managing the installation and testing of the complete system at the operating site.

MacArtney will provide the cable termination assembly (CTA) and a customized cable termination frame (CTF) as integral components of an advanced subsea sensor platform. The CTF serves as both a distribution hub and connection point for the sensor platform, allowing for seamless integration of scientific instruments into the power network and efficient data transfer to and from the ground station, utilizing hybrid ODI penetrators and ROV-mateable connectors. At the heart of this platform is the medium voltage conversion system (MVC) and PBOF transformer canister, which are essential for its smooth operation.

The scope also includes a power supply and control system, a remote management system for INGV’s operational oversight and maintenance, and factory and site acceptance testing to check and verify compliance with the preapproved specifications.

Significance and Impact Through Joint Efforts

“Our collaboration with Elettra marks a significant milestone in advancing INGV’s subsea monitoring capabilities,” explains Vincenzo Mauro, General Manager at MacArtney Italy. “By combining our strengths, we ensure that INGV can rely on a powerful and efficient infrastructure for their research. Additionally, this project highlights MacArtney’s growth in delivering innovative underwater solutions.”

MacArtney Italy is reinforcing its role in ocean science and commitment to being a reliable partner for INGV. Elettra, renowned for its leadership in subsea cable systems, brings extensive experience, making it an ideal collaborator.

Together, Elettra and MacArtney enhance INGV’s capacity to monitor and study environmental processes in Southern Italy and Sicily, regions known for seismic and volcanic activities. As a key contributor to the ITINERIS project, INGV will be able to install new multidisciplinary submarine observatories (including oceanographic, geophysics, and seismic sensors) on the final slopes of the Etna volcano at a depth of more than 2,000 meters in the southern part of the Messina Strait.

“The realization of this submarine infrastructure shall enhance the capability of real-time monitoring of our existing deep observing platforms, extending the range of measured observables,” said Davide Embriaco, INGV Executive Director of the Contract. “This action will provide access to unprecedented deep-sea experiments for the next 20 years, including a broadened spectrum of disciplines.”

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