By far the most common cause of failure in sea floor cable systems is damage from fishing gear or ship anchors. Most ocean cable systems can be designed so that, left undisturbed, they will last for many years without degradation. However, the high demand for food from the ocean and the steady growth of maritime commerce can create an extremely hazardous environment for sea floor and other ocean cable systems, particularly in the littoral.

SST staff led the development of data sources and methodology for predicting and improving the survivability of sea floor cables. SST has the experience to update and methodically apply complex data sources to predict cable survivability – and then recommend the most effective ways to maximize it. SST is the U.S. Navy’s primary source for cable system survivability analysis and planning. SST provides:

  • Analysis of the threats to cables from fishing, anchoring, dredging and other causes
  • Assessment of the hazards to cables from seafloor conditions, underwater landslides and other natural causes
  • Recommendations for least-risk and most cost effective cable routes and shore landing sites

SST designs and deploys trawl resistant subsea structures to enhance survivability based on planned surveys and acquired knowledge of man-made and natural threats.

Ship’s anchors and trawlers can cause damage and failure of undersea cables. SST’s survivability analyses can identify safe cable routes that avoid fishing and anchoring areas.