Photo of Drs Feng Zhang and Bruce Howe

During the last week of April 2017, ORE research professor Bruce Howe visited China to learn more about their ocean observing efforts, specifically using cabled systems. Tongji University is leading a major push by China in this area, somewhat similar to our NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative. Other partners include Zhejiang University and the Chinese Academy of Sci-ences. Two cable systems are planned, one in the East China Sea, and one in the South China Sea (see fig-ure). The current vision for the latter is a 1400-km multi-node system, quite ambitious and never been-done-before. The budget for the total effort is about $200M.

He visited Tongji University, Zhejiang University, Hengtong Marine Cable Systems, and Zhongtian Technology Marine Systems. This was his first visit to Tongji. They have built a new ocean campus in Lingang New City just southeast of Shanghai. They are gearing up to hire 200 people for this effort. Our contact there is Professor Huaiyang Zhou, a long-term col-league of John Wiltshire’s. He has invited Howe to be a member of their International Advisory Board. Howe has interacted with the engineering group at Zhejiang five years, starting with having Yanhu Chen here at UH as a post-doc here.

Tongji and Zhejiang have formed joint ventures with Heng-tong and Zhongtian to support this effort. At both companies, Howe visited both optical fiber plants (~40 Gm per year each) and the cable plants. The latter were for both power and telecoms. All very impressive.

China and Ocean Observing
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