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Alcatel and MariPro to Build Undersea Test Bed
Jan 2003
Paris, Jan. 30 -- Alcatel and MariPro, a provider of cabled undersea sensor systems, have been selected as industry partners by the Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) consortium to build a science cabled observatory test bed in Monterey Bay, Calif. Alcatel and MariPro will design a submarine system that will provide real-time data and images from the seabed to researchers via the Internet, and which will allow for interactive control over scientific experiments involving robotic vehicles, video and a myriad of sensors on site. The system is expected to be operational mid 2005.

The MARS program, which will be managed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), was conceived and is being developed by a consortium consisting of the University of Washington, IPOST-Canada, University of Victoria, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Under the terms of the program, MariPro will manage the industry team efforts. For the MARS program, Alcatel and MariPro will design and build mechanical subsystems, as well as test, integrate and install the communications and power subsystems developed by Woods Hole and JLP/University of Washington. The subsystems will be integrated into packages or nodes that can be linked to arrays of science sensors, allowing for design verification prior to proceeding with any future projects

MARS aims to create an undersea cabled science observatory that, for the first time, will enable researchers and shore-based learners to participate in detailed studies and experiments on a wide area of seafloor and ocean for decades rather than just hours or days. Furthermore, the designed submarine system will convey power and communications to scientific instruments: this interactive type of observatory will also make it possible for students and researchers to observe in real-time seabed experiments from their classrooms and laboratories.

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