Deep-sea observatory gets undersea cable



More than 50 kilometers of cable have been buried about a meter beneath the seafloor of Monterey Bay, Calif., to provide power and carry data for the first U.S. deep-sea cabled observatory. When finished later this year, the Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) observatory will provide scientists with constant access to any instrumentation, such as seismographs or oceanographic monitoring stations, plugged into its science node. Later this fall, a trawl-resistant frame will be installed at the end of the cable and provide a home for a computer network hub and electrical substation to which instrumentation can be attached. MARS will support oceanographic research within Monterey Bay and provide a testing ground for technology that can be used in future deep-sea observatories. MARS ( is a multiinstitutional effort led by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.