The pioneering project that will place, for the first time, an infrastructure to study the ocean floor on a submarine cable already has an information page created by GÉANT.

"Seismology, volcanology, marine ecology and ocean conditions are essential to understanding the future of our planet". The phrase frames the relevance of the Ella Link GeoLab project and can be found on the information page created by GÉANT to publicise the project.

At the same address, you can find more information about this infrastructure, as well as multimedia explanatory materials such as a video presentation of the project. It is also possible to understand, using infographics, the role of the National Scientific Computing Unit (FCCN) which will "receive" the data coming from South America, before distributing it to the rest of Europe.

geolab map2 730 FCCN Computing Unit

The EllaLink cable will cross the Atlantic Ocean, connecting Portugal and Brazil (with branches and extensions planned for Madeira, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, French Guiana and Mauritania). This route, explains GÉANT, "offers an excellent opportunity for the use of advanced technologies", not only to monitor threats to the cable itself, but also "to secure valuable data about the ocean environment".

It will be through the inclusion of technologies such as DAS (Distributed Acoustic Sensing) that the undersea cable will be 'transformed' into a sensor and it will be possible to monitor threats to the EllaLink cable such as anchor deployments or trawling. As for the analysis of the surrounding environment, it will be possible to obtain data on ocean currents, rock slides or the activity of marine mammals, for example.

Ella Link GeoLab is an initiative of Ella Link Group and EMACOM - Telecomunicações da Madeira. "[This project] opens up new opportunities for planet-watching science," highlights GÉANT's Research Engagement Officer, Chris Atherton, before concluding: "We are excited by the opportunity it means for science and, ultimately, its contribution to understanding the planet we live on.

What is EllaLink GeoLab?

In June 2020, EllaLink Group and EMACOM - Telecomunicações da Madeira announced the creation of an infrastructure dedicated to sending real-time data on the ocean floor conditions - the "EllaLink Geo Lab".

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