OPEN SOURCE GIS TOOLS USED FOR PLANNING THE INSTALLATION OF THE EUROPEAN MULTIDISCIPLINARY SEAFLOOR OBSERVATORY (EMSO)
The design, installation and maintenance of any submarine cable are difficult tasks necessary done for long-term submarine observatories. Cable installation and maintenance is now the most expensive part of a submarine cable system. To reduce costs, computer-based approaches are used for planning the installation and the maintenance of these networks. This contribution briefly describe some basis to take into account in the framework of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observatory (EMSO). EMSO is a large-scale European Research Infrastructure that will be based on a European-scale network of seafloor observatories and platforms with the basic scientific objective of long-term monitoring, mainly in real-time, of environmental processes. Quality improvements can reduce costs in cable installations. Submarine cable installation quantity is dramatically increasing, and these new tools minimize human error and reduce the added time at sea due to errors, reducing costs at the same time.
The aim of this work is the implementation of a Geographical Information System (GIS) based on Open Source GIS tools such as GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) or QGIS (Quantum GIS) to evaluate costs of installation and maintenance of EMSO in its preliminary phase. In that direction, decisions such as the better path to lay the cable must be taken, reducing the amount of cable necessary and for example minimizing unwanted cable suspension on the ocean bottom that could cause cable breakage. Once the network has been installed and operational, it is important to react as fast as possible when an incident is detected and warned to be repaired, improving the network effective operational time and increasing the data acquired. For this reason, real-time information of the nearest vessels that can repair the network (“ships of opportunity”) could be available reducing also costs of vessel operation.
Ismael F. Aymerich - Marine Technology Unit (UTM-CSIC)
Jaume Piera - Marine Technology Unit (UTM-CSIC)
Jordi Sorribas - Marine Technology Unit (UTM-CSIC)
Juan José Dañobeitia - Marine Technology Unit (UTM-CSIC)