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K2D project


K2D - Knowledge and Data from the Deep Space

K2D is funded by FCT under the MIT-Portugal program research collaboration within the AIR Centre program. Our vision is to make feasible the usage of telecommunications submarine cables for ocean observation and monitoring, through the development of the electronic components and sensors for collecting complex and extensive physical, chemical, biological and environmental parameters. This project is funded with approximately 1.5 Meuro for 36 month contract no. 045941). Starting date: 1-July-2020. Partnership: DSTelecom (coordinator), ASN-Alcatel Submarine Networks, CMEMS/U.Minho, CINTAL, ISISE/U.Minho, CEiiA, U.Azores, AIR Centre, INESC-TEC and MIT. People involved from CINTAL/SiPLAB: S.M. Jesus, A.J. Silva, R. Viegas, R. Duarte and F. Zabel. [more...].

Positions available:

PhD student - announcement PT, ENG, Research Grant
Posdoc - announcement PT, ENG, Research Grant


Submarine cables for both communications and power transmission represent nowadays an essential underwater infrastructure that connects the five continents. In 2014, 285 submarine cables were delivered with a combined length of 885139.2 km. Until today, these cables were only seen as the essential and undisputed alternative to transmit data or energy across the oceans, connecting offshore OEC, islands or different continents. However there is a great potential in the idea of converting these into multifunctional infrastructures, taking advantage of their existence, replacement or new deployment to perform additional functions. In particular, these can provide a sound infrastructure to deploy an innovative submarine monitoring and data retrieval system that can support crucial tasks related to the mapping and monitoring of the deep sea. Submarine cables are designed to last at least 25 years. Despite the planned new routes there are several cables that will need replacement in the next decade. The replacement operations can offer good opportunities to enable theses infrastructures with additional features, making them more useful and providing a solution that may well become a stepping stone in ocean monitoring coverage, at the expense of a minor investment increment.
FDECO (Forward Deployed Energy and Communications Outpost) is an Office of Naval Research (ONR) research and development program that was designed to provide refueling and data transfer stations for unmanned underwater vehicles. Two of the most challenging difficulties faced by autonomous underwater vehicles are limited endurance and difficulties transferring the data collected by the UUVs. As stated by the U.S. Navy's UUV Master Plan dated November 2004, "undersea docking stations for recharging batteries and extracting data should be viewed as long term options.” In this context, although the potential is huge, the complexity of the concept proposed within its details is considerable, therefore there is the need of a great initial effort to reach the potential stakeholders and exchange ideas about previous experiences and difficulties faced. Therefore this application proposes a one-year workplan to design and present the concept idea, in close relation to the various stakeholders, the existing ones and the ones to be identified.

last update: 28-Feb-2023


Main contractor



UMinho logo U. Minho




UAc logo Universidade dos Açores

AIR Centre