First steps for the ARCTIC CONNECT project | Polarjournal
The research vessel “Professor Logachev” intended to study the characteristics of the seabed during the expedition through the Arctic Ocean. During the research voyage, a safe way is to be found for laying a fibre optic cable between Europe and Asia. (Photo: Rosgeo)

JSC Rosgeologia and MegaFon announce the completion of the first phase of offshore research as part of the project to place a transarctic cable link from Asia to Europe. The research and surveying ship “Professor Logachev” arrived in Vladivostok after the completion of the expedition.

The fiber optic cable is to run from China and Japan through the Arctic Ocean, with some branches in the Russian Arctic (blue), to Murmansk. (Graphic: Heiner Kubny)

A fiber optic cable connection through the Arctic Ocean has been discussed for some time. The transarctic cable is to run from China and Japan to the Norwegian city of Kirkenes and to the Russian city of Murmansk. Several landing stations are planned along the way, including in Alaska and Arctic Russia.

As part of the work, the most difficult sections of the Northern Sea Route area with a total length of 6,500 km were examined or measured for ice conditions. The study included capturing the profiles and measuring the water depth with a multi-beam sonar. The work was carried out in areas with a depth of 30 to 613 metres. The expedition began on August 5, 2020 in Murmansk and lasted three months. During 105 days, the “Professor Logachev” covered about 16,000 km. “Under the difficult conditions of the Arctic, thanks to the well-coordinated work and professionalism of the project team, we were able to overcome all the difficulties and complete the work much earlier than planned. The conditions in the Arctic Ocean were favorable, and the entire survey ingesrant was carried out without the help of an icebreaker, said the General Director of the JSC “Rosgeologia” Sergei Gorkov.

With its sonar equipment, Professor Logachev can carry out investigations of the seabed down to a depth of 6,000 metres. (Photo: Rosgeo)

“The first phase of the work has now been completed. The data collected during the expedition will be processed by Rosgeologiaspecialists in the winter-spring 2020-2021. Next year we will carry out the second phase of the investigation. This involves capturing the bedrock along the route. The results achieved will enable us to find the optimal route for laying the cable,” said Gevork Vermishyan, General Manager of MegaFon.

According to information, the cable will have a transmission capacity of 200 Tb/s. The project is expected to cost up to 1.2 billion Euros. A call for tenders for the construction work is due to be published in the course of 2021.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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