March 19, 2008
In August 2008, a team of three ocean engineers from Sea Engineering completed the nearshore route surveys for the Sithe East Africa (SEA) Fiber Optic Submarine Cable System at Tulear, Madagascar. The work involved the complex logistics of shipping and transporting over 1200 pounds of high-tech survey equipment to a remote site along the southwest shore of Madagascar. Once onsite, the engineers conducted a topographic survey of the shoreline area, and bathymetry, side scan sonar and subbottom profiler surveys of the nearshore waters to a depth of 35 meters. A diving survey was also conducted to locate possible obstacles to a cable, and to provide video footage of bottom conditions. “It is rewarding to be involved in bringing broadband capabilities to an impoverished area where it can make a significant difference in people’s lives” said lead engineer on the project Jim Barry.
The Tulear landing is part of a new 13,000 km undersea fiber optic network project providing high capacity bandwidth connectivity between South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, India, the Middle East and Europe. The east Africa region currently has no submarine fiber optic cables, relying instead on expensive satellite links. Sea Engineering has recently completed similar surveys in the Marshall Islands, Pohnpei, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Mexico.
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