Strengthening Marine Domain Awareness for Subsea Infrastructure Owners

Subsea assets, such as fiber optic cables, electricity cables, and subsea pipelines, form the very backbone of our global economy. For example, an astounding 98% of international data exchange relies on them, serving as the bedrock of modern communication and commerce. However, in a world where interconnectedness is paramount, these assets stand exposed to an array of perils.

From anchors and fishing equipment entanglement to seismic upheavals triggered by earthquakes, the vulnerabilities they face are as diverse as they are daunting. Amid these challenges, safeguarding the uninterrupted flow of information, energy and resources through these undersea conduits has become increasing more imperative. The ongoing operation and security of these assets is paramount to the efficient operation and sustainability of societies around the globe.

Enhanced MDA

Safety in marine operations is all about being prepared and aware of your surroundings. The challenges of the marine environment demand a keen sense of what’s going on, and that’s where the FiberSense DigitalMarine™️ service enhances Marine Domain Awareness (MDA).

For owners and operators of this critical undersea infrastructure, MDA is all about understanding the factors at play, what they mean, and predicting how they might change in the near future. It’s like having your finger on the pulse of the sea. By having a clear understanding of the marine environment around their infrastructure, owners can identify and mitigate potential threats, react more rapidly as incidents occur and plan for the future. A robust MDA strategy is essential for ensuring the security and integrity of subsea assets.

One of the most effective ways to bolster MDA is to deploy the FiberSense DigitalMarine™️ service.

Much like the 24/7 situational awareness FiberSense offers customers with terrestrial critical infrastructure, this advanced technology, based on a managed deployment of distributed fiber optic sensing (DFOS), uses optical fibers to measure strain, temperature, and other environmental factors on and around the asset itself. This information can be used to create a detailed dynamic digital twin of the marine environment around the asset.

Combined with AIS data and other situational awareness, this capability forms part of a wholistic MDA strategy.

DigitalMarine™️ can be used to detect a variety of threats to subsea cables, including:

⚓ Anchor and Fishing Trawler strikes: DigitalMarine™️ can be used to immediately detect the vibrations caused by an anchor or fishing equipment passing over or entanglement of an asset. This can help owners to identify culpable parties.

🌐 Environmental: DigitalMarine™️ can be used to detect seismic activity that could damage or unearth a cable. This information can be used to identify stretches of cable that may have become exposed or affected by overburden, allowing for prioritisation of proactive maintenance.

In addition to detecting threats, DigitalMarine™️ can also be used to monitor the health of a subsea asset. This can help owners to identify potential problems early on and take steps to prevent them from developing into major outages.

Complete MDA is essential for ensuring the security and integrity of subsea assets.

By using DigitalMarine™️, asset owners and operators can gain a clearer understanding of the marine environment around their infrastructure and take steps to insulate themselves from a variety of threats.

Key benefits of DigitalMarine™️ in the context of MDA

💻 – Real-time and Historical Insights: DigitalMarine™️ provides both real-time and historical data about the marine environment surrounding a subsea asset, detecting both seabed interacting threats as well as environmental factors. This dual perspective empowers owners to make informed decisions by understanding both current conditions and past trends.

💡 Passive Technology: DigitalMarine™️ operates without the need for active electronics or hardware in the field, the fiber is the sensor. The passive nature of DigitalMarine™️ means little or no maintenance in providing the data and insights.

🪙Cost-effective Monitoring: DigitalMarine™️ is a cost-effective solution for subsea asset monitoring. The cost to install and run DigitalMarine™️ comes in at a fraction of the cost of the asset it is monitoring.

🛡️Facilitating Proactive Maintenance: By assessing cable health, environmental factors and tracking seabed interactions, DigitalMarine™️ enable asset owners to proactively operate and maintain their assets.

Deploying DigitalMarine™️ on critical subsea infrastructure enables more complete and accurate marine domain awareness, enabling asset owners and operators to better operate and maintain their valuable assets, extracting maximum value.