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Does Portugal have SMART submarine cables?

Does Portugal have SMART cables? - portugal news
Does Portugal have SMART cables? - Portugal Business News

Portugal news - Does Portugal have SMART submarine cables? Find out what are Portugal’s SMART subsea cable links:


SMART (Science Monitoring and Reliable Telecommunications) cables merge standard fiber optic telecommunications cables with deep-sea scientific instrument packages. The cables include repeaters that provide a protective housing for ocean sensors from which data is conveyed in real time. While SMART cable sensors create the potential for seafloor-based global ocean observation at a modest incremental cost, they provide sufficient information to identify a tsunami occurrence.


We live in a changing world where the control of large maritime spaces has become a priority while ocean depths remain unexplored by humans, due to extreme environmental exposure conditions that are too hostile for conventional sensing approaches. Since current Tsunami warning systems are unreliable, the technology of SMART Submarine Cables is decisive for Portugal.


While Portugal is almost 100% dependent on cables to connect to countries on other continents, it is also the only country in the world that has international submarine cables that interconnect directly to all continents. It is estimated that within a decade, between 10 and 15% of all international submarine cables will pass through Portugal’s EEZ.



Here are Portugal’s SMART subsea cable links:

1 -  SMART Atlantic CAM


Portugal’s SMART Atlantic CAM (Continent - Azores - Madeira) is the first dual-use telecom/SMART system in development with an investment of € 154 million. It is designed to both replace the current CAM ring as well as provide critical new sensor capabilities for tsunami and earthquake early warning for Portugal as well as surrounding regions. The cable system will include around 50 SMART repeaters.


Portugal’s new CAM Ring subsea cable, that spans 3,812 km, will be launched in 2026 and will connect mainland Portugal to the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, with landing points in Carcavelos, Funchal, Machico, Sines, São Miguel, and Terceira Island.


Portugal’s Atlantic CAM submarine cable will collect real-time data from submerged sensors. While the Atlantic CAM will be operated by IP Telecom, it will be 100% financed by the Portuguese State.



2 – EllaLink GeoLab infrastructure


The EllaLink GeoLab infrastructure will be provided by EllaLink in cooperation with EMACOM. Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) Technology will be used on a dedicated cable in the Madeira Branch of the EllaLink System. It will collect data along the route which will be optically transmitted back to the shore, independently and without impacting either telecoms traffic or the design life of the cable, making EllaLink the first system to integrate SMART cable concepts.

3 – Medusa subsea cable


The Medusa subsea cable, that spans 8,760 km, will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2025 and will connect both Carcavelos and Sines in Portugal to Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Morocco, Spain, and Tunisia. A SMART component is currently under consideration with 125 repeaters.



4 – K2D subsea cable system


Portugal’s K2D subsea cable system is a flagship project of MIT Portugal. It is part of the international partnership that the Portuguese Government has with North American research institutions with an investment of € 1.4 million.


This K2D project, that began in 2020, includes the participation of dstelecom, University of Minho, INESC TEC, CINTAL, the University of the Azores, Air Center, and Alcatel Submarine Networks.


The installation of Portugal’s K2D system (Knowledge and Data from the Deep to the Space), was done by a Portuguese American consortium led by the Portuguese dstlecom, during the largest operational exercise of unmanned systems in the world, REPMUS 2023 (Robotic Experimentation and Prototyping Augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems).


Portugal’s K2D system, that is the second prototype of an intelligent submarine cable, is 2 kms long, and was implemented off the shore of the Port of Sesimbra, at depths greater than 100 meters, with the support of the Portuguese Navy. The three sets of sensors that are installed along the cable capture data in real time.


Portugal’s K2D system is a global scale and totally disruptive monitoring system for the oceans, based on submarine cables from the deep sea and abyssal platforms to the surface. The acquisition of data powered by the system will allow the creation of analysis models based on geoinformatics and artificial intelligence, in order to expand the scope of monitoring and the spectrum of knowledge of ocean depths.


The components and systems of the K2D cable, namely the acoustic sensors that are capable of detecting the passage of vessels, submarines and/or cetaceans, have been operating uninterruptedly since its installation, generating a data volume of more than 60GB per day.



The Joint Task Force SMART Subsea Cable System is an informal association that is supported by three United Nations agencies, namely ITU, IOC-UNESCO and WMO, that aims to promote the use of SMART CABLES.


The mooring stations of submarine cables are "Data ports" that allow data to be received, stored and distributed. These ports are associated with Data Centers and Interconnection Hubs that constitute Data Platforms. Portugal is currently defending the creation of the EU Atlantic Data Gateway Platform, to which the country can make a significant contribution.



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