In May, ASC successfully concluded its final Technical and Engineering Design Review with its long-term network construction partner Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) at their manufacturing facilities in Calais, France and Greenwich, United Kingdom.
The ASC Project Team was led by Mat Shields – Technical Lead and Michael de Klerk – Head Solutions Engineer in verifying all design elements with ASN to enable the manufacture of 4,600km of cable infrastructure to commence.
ASC manufacturing activities already underway in Calais include fibre colouring, tubing, copper vaulting and insulation.
Cable manufacture is a precise scientific process with the network pre-designed for highly specific locations on the sea floor and determines the relative mix of cable types, from lightweight, lightweight protected or armoured. The configuration of the ASC cable was determined by an exhaustive marine survey and technical evaluation process. In addition to the cable assets, there are parallel manufacturing activities also underway for the of Power Feed Equipment (PFE), Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE), Network Repeaters and Branching Units (BUs).
The system will comprise three (3) BUS, four (4) fibre pairs with a design capacity of 100 x 100 Gb/s per trunk fibre pair for longest Digital Line Section (DLS). Higher bitrate per wavelength are achievable for shorter DLS links. The transmission architecture utilises start-of-the-art ALU 1626 SOFTNODE equipment.
These manufacturing activities are all based on a fully formed ASN Supply Agreement underwritten typical submarine construction terms. The Project Team has only recently successfully executed another major contract with ASN for the 2,100km North West Cable System (NWCS) and is now tracking well against all nominated milestones for the ASC build. The manufacturing activities that are now underway represent the longest lead-time items for the entire ASC network deployment