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Reg tours submarine cable survey ship
'Geo Resolution'

Former US sub-hunter boasts 1980s décor, serious sonar, workstations galore and so much printer ink

By Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2017

Slideshow Chances are this story was brought to you by a submarine cable, the world-girdling network of optic fibres that just about make the internet possible.

Which is why The Register jumped at the chance to visit the Geo Resolution, a survey ship that plans the routes for new cables.

Geo Resolution is a rare craft. It started life as a US Navy vessel that trailed submarines around to test how stealthy, or otherwise, they were. New Zealand picked it up later on and used her for marine surveys before she ended up in the hands of survey company EGS.

EGS has surveyed plenty of cable routes and has now been hired to find a new one between Sydney, Australia, and Los Angeles in the United States for a company called Southern Cross Cable Network.

The new cable will be called “Southern Cross NEXT”, is slated to cost $350m and will be capable of hauling 60 terabits per second across the Pacific if it hits its ready-for-service target of 2019.

Whether it hits that date will depend, in part, on what the Geo Resolution finds down there.

When we visited her we found a couple of modest on-board data centres, a novel way of securing racking, some very eighties décor and much more, all explained in the narrated slideshow below. ®

Youtube Video

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