The OOI Cabled Array relies on telecom industry sub-sea cable to provide power (8–10 kW) and communications (10 Gbs) via fiber-optics and copper between the Primary Nodes and the Shore Station in Pacific City, Oregon. These cables are routinely deployed across ocean basins and margins for long lifetimes, although with substantially less power than the Cabled Array. The backbone cable was installed Summer 2011 using the commercial cable laying ship, the TE SubCom Dependable.
In the summers 2013 and 2014, approximately 33,000 meters of extension cables were installed as part of the OOI Cabled Array secondary infrastructure. The Extension Cables, some of which are up to ~5 km in length, link Primary Nodes to Low-Voltage Nodes and Medium- and Low-Power Junction Boxes and to instruments across the Cabled Array. The cables power different types of loads, requiring the installation of different types of cables. Primary Nodes are installed at depths to ~3000 m and extension cables link to elements along the seafloor and from the seafloor to near the surface. All extension cables have been documented in terms of their power/communications requirements and in consideration of special environmental requirements. This includes various levels of armoring for deployments in volcanic areas such as at the flanks and within the caldera of Axial Seamount.