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Wave and UW team up on ocean observatory’s links

Cabled Array
A high-definition camera built by the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory is trained on the 13-foot-tall, actively venting hot spring called Mushroom at the summit of the Axial Seamount, about a mile deep in the Pacific off the Oregon coast. (UW / NSF-OOI / CSSF Photo)

Wave Broadband is coming out in the open about its partnership with the University of Washington to provide broadband connectivity for the Regional Cabled Array, an undersea observatory that’s part of the federally backed Ocean Observatories Initiative.

UW operates and maintains the Regional Cabled Array, which collects a torrent of scientific data from the floor of the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast. More than 150 scientific instruments measure seismic activity, fluid flow, chemical composition and other phenomena in areas such as the Southern Hydrate ridge and the Axial Seamount volcano, lying as much as a mile beneath the ocean surface..

Electrical power and data flow 24/7 via a 323-mile-long cable that runs between the instrument array and a shore station in Pacific City, Ore. Keeping up with the real-time data stream requires a network that can handle transport speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second.

That part of the job gets handled by Wave, which is headquartered in Kirkland, Wash.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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