Studies of a Full-scale Mechanical Prototype Line for the Antares Neutrino Telescope and Tests of a Prototype Instrument for Deep-sea Acoustic Measurements
M. Agerone, J.A. Aguilarj, A. Albertt, F. Ameliw, M. Anghinolfii, G. Antong, S. Anvarx, F.
Ardellier-Desagesx, E. Aslanidese, J.-J. Auberte, R. Auerg, E. Barbaritob, S. Basar, M.
Battaglierii, M. Bazzottic, Y. Becherinic, N. Béthouxh, J. Beltramellix, V. Bertine, A. Bigiv, M.
Billaulte, R. Blaest, N. de Bottonx, M.C. Bouwhuisu, R. Bruijnu, z, J. Brunnere, G.F. Burgiof, J.
Bustoe, F. Cafagnab, L. Caillate, A. Calzase, A. Caponew, L. Caponettof, E. Carmonaj, J. Carre,
D. Castelt, E. Castorinav, V. Cavasinniv, S. Cecchinic, A. Ceresb, P. Charvish, P. Chauchotk, T.
Chiarusiw, M. Circellab, J.-Y. Coailk, C. Colnardu, C. Compérek, R. Conigliones, N. Cottiniv, P.
Coylee, S. Cuneoi, A.-S. Cussatlegrasd, G. Damyk, R. van Dantzigu, G. DeBonisw, C. De
Marzob, R. De Vitai, I. Dekeyserd, E. Delagnesx, D. Denansx, A. Deschampsh, J.-X. Dessah,
J.-J. Destellee, B. Dinkespielere, C. Distefanos, C. Donzaudx, 3, J-F. Drogoul, F. Druillolex, D.
Durandx, J.-P. Ernenweint, S. Escoffiere, E. Falchiniv, S. Favarde, F. Fehrg, F. Feinsteine, C.
Fiorellob, V. Flaminiov, K. Fratinii, J.-L. Fudad, S. Galeottiv, J.-M. Gallonen, G. Giacomellic, N.
Girardt, C. Gojake, Ph. Goretx, K. Grafg, F. Guillouxx, G. Hallewelle, *, M.N. Harakehq, B.
Hartmanng, A. Heijboeru, z, E. Heineu, Y. Helloh, J.J. Hernández-Reyj, J. Hößlg, C. Hoffmann,
J. Hogenbirku, J.R. Hubbardx, M. Jaquete, M. Jaspersu, z, M. de Jongu, F. Jouvenotx, N.
Kalantar-Nayestanakiq, A. Kappesg, T. Kargg, U. Katzg, P. Kellere, J.P. Kneibr, E. Koku, H.
Koku, P. Kooijmanu, y, C. Kopperg, A. Kouchnera, W. Kretschmerg, A. Kruijeru, S. Kuchg, P.
Lagiere, R. Lahmanng, G. Lamannae, P. Lamarex, G. Lambarde, J.C. Languillatx, H.
Laschinskyg, J. Lavallee, Y. Le Guenk, H. Le Provostx, A. Le Van Suue, D. Lefévred, T.
Legoue, G. Lelaizante, G. Limu, z, D. Lo Prestif, G. Loaeck, H. Loehnerq, S. Loucatosx, F.
Louisx, F. Lucarelliw, V. Lyashukp, S. Manganou, M. Marcelinr, A. Margiottac, R. Masullow, F.
Mazéask, A. Mazurer, R. Megnab, M. Melissase, E. Mignecos, M. Mongellib, T. Montarulib, M.
Morgantiv, L. Moscosox, H. Motzg, M. Musumecis, C. Naumanng, M. Naumann-Godog, V.
Niesse, A. Noblee, C. Olivetton, R. Ostaschg, N. Palanque-Delabrouillex, P. Payree, H.Z.
Peekv, A. Perezj, C. Pettaf, P. Piattellis, R. Pilleth, J.-P. Pineaun, J. Poinsignonx, V. Popao, T.
Pradiern, C. Raccan, N. Randazzof, J. van Randwijku, D. Realj, M. Regnierh, B. van Rensu, F.
Réthorée, P. Rewiersmau, G. Riccobenes, V. Rigaudl, M. Ripanii, V. Rocaj, C. Rodav, J.F.
Rolink, A. Rostovtsevp, J. Rouxe, M. Ruppib, G.V. Russof, G. Rusydiq, F. Salesaj, K.
Salomong, P. Sapienzas, F. Schmittg, J.-P. Schullerx, R. Shanidzeg, I. Sokalskib, T. Sponag,
M. Spurioc, G. van der Steenhovenu, T. Stolarczykx, K. Streebg, L. Sulake, M. Taiutii, C.
Tamburinid, C. Taoe, L. Tascar, G. Terreniv, F. Urbanoj, P. Valdyl, V. Valentew, B. Vallagex, G.
Vaudainej, G. Venekampu, B. Verlaatu, P. Verninx, R. van Wijku, G. Wijnkeru, G. Wobbeg, E.
de Wolfu, z, A.-F. Yaod, D. Zaborovp, H. Zacconex, J.D. Zornozaj and J. Zúñiga
A full-scale mechanical prototype line was deployed to a depth of 2500 m to test the leak tightness of
the electronics containers and the pressure-resistant properties of an electromechanical cable under
evaluation for use in the ANTARES deep-sea neutrino telescope. During a month-long immersion
study, line parameter data were taken using miniature autonomous data loggers and shore-based
optical time domain reflectometry. Details of the mechanical prototype line, the electromechanical
cable and data acquisition are presented. Data taken during the immersion study revealed deficiencies
in the pressure resistance of the electromechanical cable terminations at the entry points to the
electronics containers. The improvements to the termination, which have been integrated into
subsequent detection lines, are discussed. The line also allowed deep-sea acoustic measurements
with a prototype hydrophone system. The technical setup of this system is described, and the first
results of the data analysis are presented.
Keywords: ANTARES; Underwater neutrino telescope; Leak detection; Optical time domain
reflectometry; Electromechanical cable; Sea deployment
Conclusions from the line deployment and resulting electromechanical cable improvements
The principle objective of the ANTARES full scale mechanical test line was the study of leak-tightness
of the proposed electronics container scheme and the behaviour of the proposed design for the
electromechanical cable. The line also served as a deployment platform for a prototype acoustic detection
system which successfully separated and recorded deep sea acoustic signals in the 5-20 kHz frequency
band. Such a system might one day find application in the acoustic detection of neutrinos with energies
The two-stage deployment of the line confirmed the sealing approach chosen for the electronics
containers and also successfully revealed a significant weakness in the design of the penetrator terminations
of the inter-storey EMC segments. These problems were related to the poor adhesion of the acrylic resin
potting to the stainless steel fibre tubes and titanium penetrator bore under the shear force generated by the
pressure differential between the container internal pressure of 1 bar and the maximum sea pressure of 250
A series of remedies has been put in place. A systematic study of cable creepage was instigated using
pressure vessels in France and Denmark, and an investigation of adhesive properties of a variety of
structural epoxy and adhesive resins was undertaken.
The adhesive has been changed to a two-part epoxy26 with better adhesion to metal surfaces, while the
inner extremity of the EMC penetrator bore has been equipped with a threaded insert that serves as a block
to the migration of the potting plug into the electronics chamber. In addition, each fibre tube is terminated
in a ribbed ferrule which is embedded in the adhesive, the ribbing grooves blocking any movement of the
Results from compression tests on prototype EMC penetrator terminations in the new geometry are
very encouraging: no increase of fibre attenuation was seen during the compression/decompression cycle
and no movements of the fibre tubes or potting plugs were observed. New cables in the new configuration
have been ordered. The first detection line to be equipped with the new cable was deployed in September
- As of January 2007, four such lines are in operation in the deep sea. Future publications will deal
with the development of the ANTARES electromechanical cable and the final configuration employed
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