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Seminar: Observing the Ocean and Earth with SMART Subsea Cables

2 February 2022 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Dr. Bruce Howe
Chair, Joint Task Force for SMART Subsea Cables
Research Professor, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

Location Information:
**this seminar will be held both in person (Holmes Hall 247) and over Zoom**
Meeting ID: 960 4654 5799
Passcode: OREseminar

JTF SMART Subsea Cables (Joint Task Force, Science Monitoring And Reliable Telecommunications, 1) is working to integrate environmental sensors for ocean bottom temperature, pressure and seismic acceleration into submarine telecommunications cables. The purpose of SMART Cables is supporting climate and ocean observation, sea level monitoring, observations of Earth structure, and tsunami and earthquake early warning and disaster risk reduction. SMART cables will be one of the transformative technologies deployed as part of the 2021-2030 UN Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Tsunami Programme to fill critical observational gaps for the detection and forecast of tsunami. Recent advances include regional SMART pilot systems that are the first steps to trans-ocean and global implementation. Building on the OceanObs’19 conference and community white paper (2), an overview and description of the status of ongoing projects will include: The InSea wet demonstration project off Sicily at the EMSO Western Ionian Facility to be installed 2022; Vanuatu and New Caledonia crossing an active tectonic subduction zone; Antarctica; and the CAM-2 system connecting Lisbon, Azores and Madeira in a ring to be installed in 2025. For the latter system, improved earthquake early warning with less loss of life will more than pay for the system (V. Silva, pers. comm.). Funding reflects a blend of government, development bank, and commercial contributions. In addition to notable scientific and societal benefits, the Telecom mission of societal connectivity will benefit as well, as environmental awareness improves both individual cable system integrity as well as that of the overall global communications network.

  1. The Joint Task Force SMART Subsea cables is sponsored by three United Nations agencies: the International Telecommunications Union, the World Meteorological Organization, and the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (ITU/WMO/UNESCO-IOC).
  2. Howe, B. M., et al, and  SMART Cables Joint Task Force, SMART Cables for Observing the Global Ocean: Science and Implementation, Frontiers in Marine Science, OceanObs’19 Special Issue, 6, 424. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00424, 2019.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Howe develops ocean observing infrastructure for the provision of power, communications, and positioning throughout the ocean volume, with an emphasis on cabled and acoustic systems. As Chair of the international Joint Task Force (JTF) SMART Cable initiative, (Science Monitoring And Reliable Telecommunications), Dr. Howe is leading the effort to incorporate sensors into commercial trans-ocean submarine telecommunication cable systems to form a planetary scale observing system for climate, ocean circulation and sea level monitoring and tsunami and earthquake warning. Past projects have included basin-scale acoustic thermometry, and planning, development and operation of cabled observatories. At Station ALOHA 100 km north of Oahu, Dr. Howe and his team installed and operate the ALOHA Cabled Observatory – the world’s deepest plug-and-play power and Internet node on the planet at 4728 m water depth, now with 10 years of continuous data. After obtaining engineering and oceanography degrees at Stanford University and the University of California at San Diego, he has worked at the Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, and since 2008, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering.

Seminar: Observing the Ocean and Earth with SMART Subsea Cables


2 February 2022
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category:
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Holmes 247
2540 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822 United States
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(808) 956-7572