Undersea Systems: Technologies and Applications

Chairs: Ekaterina Golovchenko, TE Subsea Communications LLC, USA, and Jose Chesnoy, Alcatel-Lucent, France

Worldwide 96% of all global communications pass through submarine cables. With the increase in demand for capacity and trans-continental connectivity undersea industry is putting more kilometers of cable under the water than at any time in history. The new systems have to deliver performance and quality over long term in the face of rapid technological advancements. Coherent technologies spring new life into upgrades of existing cables increasing the original design capacity by several times.

The performance improvements, ever tighter spectral efficiencies, and faster bit rates demonstrated in the laboratories have been staggering. This symposium will contrast the research advances versus the carrier needs and system vendor perspectives on readily deployable technologies. Furthermore, we will discuss expansion of undersea cable applications into such areas as scientific undersea laboratories and offshore oil and gas platform connectivity.

Session 1: Transmission Technologies
Opening remarks J. Chesnoy & E. Golovchenko

OADM Technology for Meshed Connection in Advanced Submarine Cable Network
Takanori Inoue and Ryuji Aida, NEC Submarine Network Division, Japan
This talk introduces and discusses the recent achievements of OADM and undersea branching unit technologies for flexible, reliable and robust connection among many stations in advanced international submarine cable systems.

Transmission Technologies for Transoceanic Multiterabit Networks
Olivier Courtois, Alcatel-Lucent, France
Recent technical achievements permit to plan the build of new cables for transoceanic WDM 100Gb/s channels, renewing the perspectives of transoceanic interconnection to the terrestrial data backbone, in particular through coherent detection with massive digital processing, combined with large area fibre with high positive dispersion. The recent breakthroughs of transmission technologies will be reviewed as well as their industrial enablers.

Using Innovated Technology for Next Generation Repeater Product Design
Jas Dhooper,  Huawei Marine, China
Repeater engineering and design continues to play an critical part in today’s submarine technology and with the ability to leverage new technology a real opportunity exist to adopt small form factor optical repeater design that enables operational improvements for deployment, integration and greater system reliability. With the demand for greater bandwidth/capacity in submarine systems these factors play a critical role in the customer selection process.

The Role of FEC in Coherent Transmission in Undersea Systems
Takashi Mizuochi, Mitsubishi, Japan
Powerful Forward Error Correction (FEC) has become of critical importance as undersea networks increase in speed to 40 and 100 Gb/s. This talk discusses recent progress in soft-decision FEC, which dramatically improves the Q budgets of multi-terabit undersea systems. This is vital for combating the poor fiber nonlinearity tolerance of high-speed Digital Coherent transmission systems.

Ultra-low Loss Optical Fiber Solutions for Coherent Detection Undersea Systems
John Downie, Corning, USA
We examine the role of optical fibers for undersea transmission systems, with a focus on requirements for high data rate coherent detection systems. Fiber attenuation and effective area are key parameters affecting system performance.

Optimizing the Transmission Line for Coherent Undersea Links
Robert Lingle, OFS, USA
Each advance in amplifier, multiplexing, or modulation technology for undersea systems has required re-optimization of the transmission line. The advent of coherent receivers and polarization multiplexing increases the importance of effective area and span loss.

Session 2: Alternative applications and Legacy Systems Upgrades
Opening remarks J. Chesnoy & E. Golovchenko

Undersea Telecommunication Technologies in Offshore Sector
Marsha Spalding, TE SubCom, USA
The offshore sector of the undersea telecommunication industry has seen development of new, purpose-designed undersea products and network architectures. Interesting and challenging applications are evolving as offshore systems become more economically practical. Special undersea cable and a variety of subsea hardware products have been introduced; some notable examples are various “wet” subsea optical connector manifolds and a robust deep-water dynamic riser cable to connect sea bottom cables with floating facilities.

Submarine Infrastructures for Neutrino Astronomy
Claude Vallee, CPPM IN2P3, France
We will present the deep sea permanent infrastructure of the ANTARES
neutrino telescope, operational since 2008 offshore of Toulon at a depth of 2500 m,
as well as the plans for a second generation telescope developped by the KM3NeT
european consortium in connection with marine environmental sciences.

Technologies and Strategies for Upgrading Existing Submarine Cable Systems
Steve Grubb, Fellow, Infinera, USA
Carriers are facing intense pressure in todays global submarine market to rapidly and cost effectively upgrade existing submarine cable systems to high capacities. New architectures are also being investigated as differentiators in order to rapidly deliver a variety of new services.

Coherent Submarine Technology: Deployment Dynamics, Efficiencies and Network Architecture Impacts
Robert Hadaway, Jamie Gaudette, Darwin Evans, Mark Hinds, Elizabeth Rivera-Hartling, John Sitch, Ciena, USA
Carrier adoption and deployment of 40G coherent technology, with accompanying digital signal processing, is demonstrating the advantages of adaptive impairment correction and transoceanic transmission performance on Submarine cables. Recent experience will be discussed, along with the move to 100G coherent and impacts on the potential for a unified Terrestrial and Submarine global network architecture.

Submarine Upgrades: Is the Sky the Limit?
Bertrand Clesca, Xtera Communications, France
Over the last few years, advances in transmission and component technology have steadily increased the capacity of submarine cable systems, including those already installed to well beyond the original targets. We will discuss whether there is a limit to this for legacy systems – other than the theoretical fibre limit – and how close one can get in the context of latest processing and amplification technologies. These new technologies will lead to new line designs, which could impose new considerations for keeping systems open to third party upgrades.

40G/100G Digital Coherent Submarine Systems
Akira Sugiyama, Liang Dou, Shoichiro Oda, Zhenning Tao, Takeshi Hoshida, Fujitsu, Japan
Status and technical issues of 40G/100G digital coherent submarine system development are addressed. We also discuss the feasibility of submarine cable capacity enhancement by new technologies under research, e.g. spectrally efficient modulation/multiplexing and nonlinear mitigation.