Design and Application of a Junction Box for Cabled Ocean Observatories

TitleDesign and Application of a Junction Box for Cabled Ocean Observatories
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsChen, YH, Yang, CJ, Li, DJ, Jin, B, Chen, Y
JournalMarine Technology Society Journal
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Cabled ocean observatories enabling large amounts of power and two-way communication bandwidth for underwater experiments are a future approach for studying the oceans. On April 21, 2011, at Monterey Bay, California, USA, a network node composed of a junction box (JBox) and three scientific instruments was deployed at the Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) site for a 6-month uninterrupted sea trial. The JBox is a facility that can provide multiple wet-mateable connections for various instruments. Each connection can draw 500 W of power and has 10/100 Mbit/s network communication. The current study presents the design and construction of the JBox with focus on the following aspects: a power distribution system with high reliability; a flexible springloaded mechanical structure for heat dissipation; communication that incorporates various data protocols; and self-protection against faults like over-current, short fault, ground fault, and flooding. The deployment and operation of the JBox is described. The sea trial results show that the technologies and methods applied on the JBox and the deploying approach are applicable and worthy of consideration for long-term cabled ocean observatories.


Regional Cabled