Subsea Data Systems Completes First-Ever SMART Repeater Sensor System Prototype

Subsea Data Systems, Inc., a partnership between Samara/Data and Ocean Specialists, Inc., is pleased to announce the completion of the first-ever SMART (Science Monitoring and Reliable Telecommunications) Cable sensor system prototype. A Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provided the necessary funds to catalyze the rapid development of a fully operational prototype system. SMART Cables include sensor-enabled repeaters (amplifiers) that will be incorporated into future trans-oceanic internet cables. The Subsea Data Systems sensor unit has been reporting continuous seismic, pressure, and temperature data to NSF’s SAGE data repository since July 2022.

“The investment from the NSF’s SBIR program enabled our efforts to develop the world’s first SMART sensor prototype system. It represents a major first step in SMART Cable development, which is even more essential with upcoming SMART Cable projects including the CAM system in Portugal. NSF’s investment in Subsea Data Systems allowed us to jumpstart this hardware development. We’re particularly pleased with the productive collaboration with Silicon Audio Seismic in this endeavor. This latest achievement strengthens our ability to bring SMART hardware, software, and data management solutions to the commercial marketplace,” said Steve Lentz, Chief Technology Officer 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. 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 Subsea Data Systems SMART sensor 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 Cables will 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  for more details.