Page 26: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (July 2016)

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NY Power Authority Protects

Subsea Cables with Virtual Technology ew York Power Authority (NYPA) pair process is time-consuming and it to surface; environmental because the released into the Long Island Sound. had a costly and environmentally costly, taking an estimated ? ve to eight cables are ? lled with DCL 45 low vis- To help avoid future anchor strikes and charged problem. Twice in a de- months and “tens of millions of dollars” cosity ? uid for insulation. mitigate the ? nancial and environmental

Ncade (in 2004 and 2014) a com- to ? x, according to Robert J. Schwabe, The most recent anchor strike and ca- costs, Schwabe and his team sought a mercial tugboat dropped anchor and Director, Asset and Maintenance Man- ble break in 2014 was a game changer solution.

damaged one of its submerged power agement, New York Power Authority. according to Schwabe, as it occurred in “After this event I started looking cables, a critical 7.5 mile stretch of four More importantly, the cable strikes pose the dead of winter, meaning the divers around and said, ‘We need to have a cables, part of its Y-49 transmission cir- a signi? cant safety and environmental were working in arduous conditions, tak- better system to detect the potential (of cuit in the Long Island Sound. hazard. Safety because the repair pro- ing two months to jet out enough cable a vessel) anchoring in the cable ? eld,’”

The cables are buried 10 ft. deep un- cess demands divers in the water to jet to ? nd the fault. In the meantime, thou- said Schwabe. For the system to work, der the Long Island Sound, and the re- out the cable, ? nd the break and bring sands of gallons of DCL 45 ? uid were it had to be automatic and ‘on’ 24/7/365.

The Vesper solution is elegant in its simplicity, using two land-based communication towers to establish a set of ‘virtual bea- cons’ on the water clearly marking the cable ? eld, also establishing a wide buffer zone that is seen on a vessel’s electronic charts.

26 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • JULY 2016

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