A major upgrade of national marine R&D infrastructure is underway in Galway Bay

The first phase of installation of Ireland’s first subsea cabled observatory was completed this week.  The observatory is located at the Ocean Energy Test and Demonstration Site in Galway Bay.  The test site is located 1.5km offshore in water depths of circa. 23m and is restricted to shipping.  The first phase of the installation was the deployment of the cable which extends from a shore station located at the second level school ‘Colaiste Chroí Mhuire,’ in Spiddal to an underwater frame on the test site. The cable is 4km in length and provides power and high bandwidth delivery of data to the observatory and the test site.

The project provides critical infrastructure to support the trial and validation of novel sensors and prototype equipment within a real-world marine environment. The installation is taking place in several phases and the observatory is expected to be fully operational by September 2015.  The installation process is being managed by the Marine Institute.  The national research vessel RV Celtic Explorer was used to transport the cable to the test site, and conduct the cable lay operations.  

The subsea cabled observatory installation is a collaborative project between the Marine Institute, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), SmartBay Ireland and the Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) Centre, UCC. The project was funded under the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) “Research Infrastructure Call” in 2012.  

Further information is available on the Marine Institute's press release.



RV Celtic Explorer and Irish Sea Contractors lay cable (Photo Andrew Downes)

Department of Communications
Marine Institute