AT&T Awarded $157 Million Contract To Build Undersea Fiber-Optic Cable —Color Brochure Available

AT&T has been awarded a $157 million contract to build a new undersea fiber-optic cable that will link the U.S. mainland to Hawaii in 1993.

Known as Haw-5, the cable is the fifth to link Hawaii to the mainland and the second fiber-optic cable to do so.

The cable, which will carry voice and data traffic, includes three pairs of fiber, two active and operating at 560 megabits per second and one fiber pair for reserve. If the entire cable were used for voice, it could handle 80,000 simultaneous telephone conversations.

The world's first transoceanic lightwave system, TAT-8, went into service in 1988 and has a capacity of 40,000 simultaneous telephone calls.

TAT-9, to be deployed in 1991, will handle 80,000 simultaneous calls.

A new fiber-optic cable would have a capacity of 600,000 simultaneous conversations using optical amplifiers and operating at 2.4 gigabits (billion bits per second) over two pairs of fibers and using conventional compression techniques.

AT&T Bell Laboratories scientists are experimenting with optical amplifiers in ultra-long-distance systems and in systems for islandto- island or coast-to-coast transmission.

Related research involves high-repetition lasers, pump lasers, all-optical logic elements, integrated optical waveguide devices, and new types of optical fiber.

AT&T also announced that it is adding a $6 million robotic Seabed Tractor to its stable of undersea cable laying equipment. The 10-ton vehicle can begin burying cable at the top of a beach, drive through the surf and continue laying cable until the water is almost a mile deep.

Undersea cable is buried in a trench about 3 feet deep. When trenching, the hydraulic-powered Seabed Tractor travels at speeds ranging from 3 to 15 feet per minute, and can reach speeds up to 150 feet per minute when not trenching.

The Seabed Tractor, which is manufactured by Soil Machine Dynamics in Newcastle, U.K., will be stationed in Baltimore.

For further information and a free copy of the brochure on submarine cable systems from AT&T, Circle 39 on Reader Service Card

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 20,  Apr 1991

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.