Google's Fiber Cables Wrapped in Kevlar-like Material Against Sharks

Google's Fiber Cables Wrapped in Kevlar-like Material Against Sharks

Google using Kevlar-like material to protect its undersea fiber cables from damage caused by sharks and other stressors.

At the Google Cloud Platform Developer Roadshow in Boston, product manager on the Google cloud team Dan Belcher announced Google's initiative to protect its underwater fiber cables in the Pacific Ocean, detailing how they're using Kevlar-like material in anticipation of many damage sources, one of which include shark attacks.

Reports of sharks attacking cables come in as early as the 1980s where shark bites were found on cables in the Canary Islands, but understading why sharks attacked said cables has not been conclusive. One theory is that sharks are attracted to the electromagnetic fields produced by the cables, but a report from the International Cable Protection Committee also makes mention of cable smells and color as probable causes.

In any case, a majority of damage caused on underwater cables actually comes from ship anchors and fishing trawlers, but a Google spokesperson did tell Vice that, "All submarine equipment providers support a variety of cables with different degrees of hardening that depend on the cable depth, and protect against a number of external aggressors like ship anchors/trawlers/fishing, seabed corrosion, and yes, even sharks."

Tim Stronge, a cable expert from TeleGeography, viewed the video attached to this article of a shark biting on an underwater cable and states, "It seems legit to me but who knows what type of cable that is." The video is also from 2010, "... before Google owned any undersea internet infrastructure."

Google currently co-owns up to 5,000 miles of fibre-optic wiring in the Pacific. Google has just announced its partnership with five other telecommunications companies to create a Trans-Pacific cable system called "FASTER" for high-speed internet purposes.

Maybe this is all worthy of a future Shark Week episode.

Source: Mashable

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Maybe the sharks just wanted more fiber in their diet since all they eat is meat and random stuff.

...

I feel dirty typing that.

Ugh, I just want them up here in Bellingham, WA already. I'm stuck using either Century Link or Comcast, and Comcast is really slow or cuts out constantly. I pay too much for a service that doesn't function 35% of the time. Please, Google Fiber, you're our only hope.

That's nice and all, but there's really only one piece of information anyone want's to know about Google Fiber and that's the roll out plan for getting this out to the masses. You're offering a far better option than current ISPs so let's just skip to the part where you start taking our money in exchange for internets, shall we?

So Google Fiber is doing basically what every other undersea cable has done for longer than most or all of us has been alive.

I'm having trouble seeing how this is newsworthy.

Umm, from everything I've seen and read about Kevlar I understood Kevlar to be amazing against blunt/impact trauma but it's very susceptible to cuts.

As in Kevlar is good against bullets but not good against knife slashes or stabs.

As in not good against shark teeth?

Am I misunderstanding everything I've seen about Kevlar?

Kuala BangoDango:
Umm, from everything I've seen and read about Kevlar I understood Kevlar to be amazing against blunt/impact trauma but it's very susceptible to cuts.

As in Kevlar is good against bullets but not good against knife slashes or stabs.

As in not good against shark teeth?

Am I misunderstanding everything I've seen about Kevlar?

I thought it was that it's hard to separate the strands and thus stuff can't really get through but you can cut it length wise with scissors.

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Maybe the sharks just wanted more fiber in their diet since all they eat is meat and random stuff.

...

I feel dirty typing that.

Haha, I thought it was funny.

crepesack :

Kuala BangoDango:
Umm, from everything I've seen and read about Kevlar I understood Kevlar to be amazing against blunt/impact trauma but it's very susceptible to cuts.

As in Kevlar is good against bullets but not good against knife slashes or stabs.

As in not good against shark teeth?

Am I misunderstanding everything I've seen about Kevlar?

I thought it was that it's hard to separate the strands and thus stuff can't really get through but you can cut it length wise with scissors.

From http://www.explainthatstuff.com/kevlar.html

Kevlar is an excellent antiballistic (bullet- and knife-resistant) material because it takes a great deal of energy to make a knife or a bullet pass through it. The tightly woven fibers of highly oriented (lined-up) polymer molecules are extremely hard to move apart: it takes energy to separate them. A bullet (or a knife pushed hard by an attacker) has its energy "stolen" from it as it tries to fight its way through. If it does manage to penetrate the material, it's considerably slowed down and does far less damage.

So it looks like the kevlar insulation isn't %100 impervious to attack, but instead will absorb most of the damage each time the shark chomps down. From what I've read it seems like most accidents involving vests and knives happen because the blade slips off the material and pierces through at the seam.

image

It looks like a kevlar sleeve insulating the wire would be able to take a beating and still provide a little bit of protection, at least still covering the wire after a shark bites it. Maybe they aren't super concerned with sharks repeatedly attacking the same spot on the cable.

Zachary Amaranth:
So Google Fiber is doing basically what every other undersea cable has done for longer than most or all of us has been alive.

I'm having trouble seeing how this is newsworthy.

This is exactly what I was thinking when I saw this article. But of course it's news, because it's Google, and even though we're supposed to be annoyed with Apple's elitist attitude, we're supposed to worship the ground Google walks upon.

Lvl 64 Klutz:

This is exactly what I was thinking when I saw this article. But of course it's news, because it's Google, and even though we're supposed to be annoyed with Apple's elitist attitude, we're supposed to worship the ground Google walks upon.

Considering what seems to pass for innovation in gaming, it's not surprising that you see this on a (primarily) gaming site.

AdagioBoognish:

It looks like a kevlar sleeve insulating the wire would be able to take a beating and still provide a little bit of protection, at least still covering the wire after a shark bites it. Maybe they aren't super concerned with sharks repeatedly attacking the same spot on the cable.

Sharks actually test stuff for edibility by gently chomping on it, since their mouths aren't really built for nibbling.
That's pretty much what's happening in that video as well. Shark finds a new thing on the ocean floor, checks it for dinner qualities, finds its lack of taste disturbing and decides to wait for a better candidate.

Considering the way Shark Week is going, a special on this would likely be about how the electromagnetic radiation was superpowering sharks and causing them to attack humans, with a dumb name for a specific supershark like Volt or Charger or something.

How is this news? We have been using armor cable to protect our copper and fiber cables since forever. It doesn't even have to be for undersea as well, as we also have armor cable to protect from rodents chewing on the cable. So next week are we going to see fiber puts kevlar like material to protect from from rodents?

What would really be news would be if they found a tough but inexpensive material to go under the kevlar. A thick layer to absorb the bite force and trauma from anchors sounds like an addition that is needed.

Maybe Roy Schneider fed cables to sharks way too often, and they just can't shake that curiosity.

Sewa_Yunga:

AdagioBoognish:

It looks like a kevlar sleeve insulating the wire would be able to take a beating and still provide a little bit of protection, at least still covering the wire after a shark bites it. Maybe they aren't super concerned with sharks repeatedly attacking the same spot on the cable.

Sharks actually test stuff for edibility by gently chomping on it, since their mouths aren't really built for nibbling.
That's pretty much what's happening in that video as well. Shark finds a new thing on the ocean floor, checks it for dinner qualities, finds its lack of taste disturbing and decides to wait for a better candidate.

Yeah, so it makes sense then that a layer of kevlar would be adequate in protecting the cable.

So everyone else wants to see "Electro-Shark versus Google" as the next Asylum or Syfy flick, right? It's not just me? Guys?

Pallindromemordnillap:
So everyone else wants to see "Electro-Shark versus Google" as the next Asylum or Syfy flick, right? It's not just me? Guys?

Sounds like a great idea! Get me a crossover with Sharknado and hire a producer on the cheap. If it turns out to be solid gold, I want an Expendables VS Electro-Sharknado by the second quarter of next year! We'll set up a working lunch with the script writer who did those new Spider-Man movies, Stallone's people and whoever's the agent for the shark from Jaws. Well, don't just sit there, go, Go, GO!

I don't suppose they'll be bringing faster broadband speeds to the UK by any chance?
Because we're kind of drowning here.

Wait, i though google fiber was pretty much limited to US and thus inland network? Or have they expanded to Hawaii yet?

 

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