2021 Antarctic Subsea Cable Workshop

The goal of the workshop was to produce a report outlining how improved digital connectivity could advance and impact scientific research.July 30, 2021

Late last month the University of Hawaii, University of Minnesota, and Polar Geospatial Center co-hosted an event sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The 2021 Antarctic Subsea Cable Workshop: High-Speed Connectivity Needs to Advance US Antarctic Science.

The goal of this workshop was to produce a report outlining the science advances and impacts that would be enabled by massive improvements in digital connectivity to Antarctica.

Given recent synergistic opportunities, NSF is interested in understanding the value of a submarine fiber optic telecommunications cable from New Zealand to McMurdo Station, with terabit-scale networking capability that could eliminate current bandwidth constraints faced by researchers, educators and support functions while also reducing the latency of current satellite-based communication. The cable infrastructure can also serve as a scientific platform (a Scientific Monitoring And Reliable Telecommunications “SMART” cable) with capability to monitor ocean conditions and seismic activity.  Direct fiber connectivity to McMurdo may also enable improved connectivity to Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and science infrastructure there.

Click here to see program deatils, youtube recordings of the workshop and other pertinent information.