What is Underwater Cable? and How Does Underwater Cable Work?

What is underwater cable?

A type of cable called an underwater cable is used to link two underwater locations, usually ones on the seafloor. Data, electricity or communication signals can all be sent between two locations using this kind of cable. Rivers, lakes, oceans, and other bodies of water may all have cables installed.

A type of cable that is installed underwater to transmit telecommunications, computer, and power signals across bodies of water is known as an underwater cable, also known as a submarine cable or subsea cable. These cables are frequently made of copper wires and covered in a plastic or rubber protective sheath to shield them from corroding and being harmed by the marine environment.

Long, thick cables called underwater cables are buried or laid on the ocean floor to allow for data transmission, frequently across continents. They are employed to link nations, cities, and isolated regions with undersea fiber-optic networks, enabling the quick and dependable transmission of large amounts of data. Long-distance calls, television, and internet services can all be provided using underwater cables with a dependable, secure, and quick connection.

Which type of cable is used underwater?

Special materials that can withstand corrosion and abrasion from salt water and sediment are typically used to make underwater cables. Coaxial cables are the most typical kind of underwater cables and are used to transmit signals from one location to another. Optical fiber cables, electrical power cables, and specialty cables made for use are some other varieties of underwater cables.

Principle of Underwater Cable

Long, robust electrical cables called underwater cables are used to transmit electrical signals and power underwater. The telecommunications, oil and gas, and power sectors are where they are most frequently used.

An underwater cable operates on a very basic principle. It is made up of a core conductor made of metal wires that carries the electrical signals and is sheathed in insulation for protection. The cable must be robust enough to withstand the pressure of the surrounding water because it is typically buried in the ocean floor. The cable is frequently covered in a jacket made of rubber or plastic to prevent corrosion.

Then an alternating current is used to transmit the signal or power through the cable (AC). This signal is sent into the surrounding water by this current, which is produced by a power source like a generator or battery. A receiver, such as a receiver antenna, then picks up the signal and converts it from AC to DC.

After being sent through the cable, the signal is finally received by the intended recipient. The power is then transmitted to the target device after the signal has been converted back to AC. Typically, a central control system oversees and manages the entire process.

How does underwater cable work?

A core of optical fibers and several layers of protection make up underwater cables. Light signals that are digitally encoded are carried by the core. Underwater pressure, corrosion, and other environmental factors may be present, but the protective layers are made to withstand them. Following this, the cables are linked to land-based communication networks, enabling the transmission of data over great distances.

Multiple copper wires covered in a protective substance like polyethylene typically make up underwater cables. The cables are then wrapped in a protective sheath and bundled together. The cables are then connected to a submarine repeater, which amplifies the signal and boosts transmission capacity, and laid out on the ocean floor.

Land-based repeaters are also linked to the cables to further amplify the signal and increase transmission capacity. Finally, an optical fiber is used to transmit the signal to the desired location.


  1. An underwater cable can transmit more data at a faster rate because its transmission capacity is much higher than that of wireless transmission.
  2. Compared to wireless transmission, underwater cables are more dependable and robust. Electromagnetic interference and other outside influences do not affect them.
  3. Wireless transmission is less secure than underwater cables because it is very difficult to tamper with underwater cables without being noticed.
  4. Compared to wireless transmission, underwater cables are relatively cheap to install and maintain.


  1. Installing underwater cables costs money because it calls for specialized tools and trained personnel.
  2. Natural calamities like earthquakes and floods can harm underwater cables.
  3. Due to their location underwater and the need for specialized personnel and tools, underwater cables are challenging to repair.
  4. Malicious attacks, such as cable cutting or tapping, can compromise underwater cables.


Working with underwater cable also requires a lot of physical stamina and strength, as well as the capacity to function under challenging circumstances. Underwater cables are perfect for applications that require large amounts of data because they can transmit those amounts at high speeds. Due to their extremely low failure rate, underwater cables are a dependable option for data transmission.

Contact Linden Photonics to get a quote or Call Us at (978) 392-7985

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Harmonizing Opposing Goals: Strength & Flexibility

1 Park Drive, Unit 8

© All rights reserved 2023. Linden Photonics, Inc.