Getting Power and the Internet to the Seafloor V14

Secondary Junction Box on Seafloor
Cable Connected to Junction Box LV03A

The 1 km extension cable from the Primary Node PN3A at the base of Axial Seamount is connected to the low voltage node LV013A, which will feed the two moorings at this site. Photo credit: NSF-OOI/UW/CSSF; Dive R1717; V14.

R1715 Laying Cable at the Base of Axial Seamount

Axial Base PN3A. During ROPOS Dive R1715, a 1 km cable was installed at the base of Axial Seamount near Primary Node PN3A using the Remotely Operated Cable Laying System (ROCLS) mounted to the underbelly of ROPOS. Video credit: NSF-OOI/UW/CSSF; Dive R1715; V14.

Secondary nodes, also called junction boxes are currently being installed on the VISIONS'14 expedition. They serve as electrical and communications outlets to 23 kilometers of extension cables and ~150 instruments that will be installed at depths of nearly 9000 feet beneath the ocean's surface and in some of the most extreme environments on Earth - hydrothermal vents.

The 'J-Boxes' come in three "flavors"  - Medium Power and Low Power Junction Boxes, and Low Voltage Nodes and they are configured specific to the instruments and infrastructure (e.g. mooorings) that will be attached to them by extension cables. They host up to 8 ports and each J-Box has 375 volts and 1 Gb/s transmission capabilities. The nodes and junction boxes were designed and built at the University of Washington Applied Physics Lab.

In addition, to these nodes and junction boxes, a Benthic Experiment Platform (BEP), developed by Oregon State University as part of the Endurance Array, will also be deployed at the Endurance Offshore 600-m site. The BEP houses a Low Power Communications housing, designed by UW APL, and numerous sensors inside a hazard-resistant frame.

During Leg 1, 1 Junction Box will be installed at the base of Axial Seamount (LV03A - PN1A) and 4 at its summit (MJ03B, MJ03C, MJ03D, MJ03F - PN3B).

  • Junction Box LV03A was installed during ROPOS Dive R1716 on July 19 (local).
  • Junction Box MJ03C was installed duirng ROPOS Dive R1717 on July 20 (local).
  • Junction Box MJ03D was installed duirng ROPOS Dive R1718 on July 20 (local).