Installation of the main cables for the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) regional cabled network (the Regional Scale Nodes) has begun off the coast of Oregon. A dedicated cable-laying ship, the TE SubCom C.S. Dependable, is performing the installation. The regional component of the OOI establishes a network of ocean observing sensors in the Northeast Pacific ocean connected by 900 kilometers (~560 miles) of electro-optical cable and designed to operate continuously for 25 years.
The University of Washington is leading the OOI cabled component effort and has contracted with L3 MariPro Inc., Goleta, Calif., for the design and build of the primary infrastructure. Oregon State University is a partner in the cabled component.
There are three main stages to the cable installation: 1) at-sea installation, 2) the cable landing on the shore, and 3) terrestrial cable installation from the shore landing to the terminal (shore) station.
The installation schedule is as follows, subject to weather and ship operations:
- June 3: TE SubCom C.S. Dependable sails from Newington, NH, loaded with the OOI cable.
- June 28: At-sea installation of cable begins off the coast of Oregon. All portions of the cable from the shore to a distance of about 1 kilometer seaward of the 700-fathom Essential Fish Habitat boundary (EFH) will be buried to a target depth of 1.3 meters. Farther offshore, where the cable is less exposed to human activities, it will be laid directly on the seafloor, or surface-laid.
- July 10 – July 30: Land cable installation activities at Pacific City, Oregon, with a halt to work July 15 – 17. From the beach manhole, the OOI cables will run through existing underground ducts and will be connected to the shore station located about 1.5 km farther north.
- July 12 - July 15: Cable segments landed (pulled ashore) at Pacific City through conduits previously drilled from an existing manhole at the beach to a distance of approximately 5,000 feet offshore in a water depth of about 20 meters.
- July 15 – August 26: At-sea cable installation continues.
Follow the track of the TE SubCom C.S. Dependable here. Enter Dependable in "Go To Vessel" on upper left side of screen.