Thursday, March 24, 2022

Havhingsten Cable System links Ireland, UK and the Nordics

Construction has completed on the Havhingsten cable system linking Ireland, the UK and the Nordics. Partners in the project include Aqua Comms, Bulk Fiber Networks, a leading builder and operator of fiber network infrastructure, and Meta. The subsea cable was built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN).

The Havhingsten cable system runs across the Irish Sea from north of Dublin, Ireland to south of Blackpool on the west coast of the UK, with a section also linking into the Isle of Man, and from Seaton Sluice in Northumberland to Denmark. Notably, the route avoids congested paths across the English Channel and ensures lower latency between Dublin and the Nordic region.

The partners are highlighting several key innovations and technological milestones:

  • Havhingsten is the world’s first aluminum conductor powered subsea cable system. As a material, aluminum allows for a much lower cable conductor voltage drop, which ultimately allows for a higher number of fiber pairs per cable. Using aluminum instead of copper reduces cost and weight, allowing more cable to be loaded onto an installation vessel. It also offer improved resistance to hydrogen penetration.
  • The end-to-end system combines data transmission seamlessly across both an unrepeatered subsea segment in the Irish Sea, a terrestrial segment in the UK and a repeatered segment in the North Sea. Typical systems have one or two of these elements, but not all three.
  • The system utilized a new enhanced, jet-assisted burial plough in both the North and Irish Sea segments, allowing the installers of the system to bury the cable to our specific demanding level of protection in very challenging seabed conditions along the route.