Program Update: Ocean Observatories Initiative – June 2011
A week-long external review of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) was held at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from May 16-20, 2011. During that review, the National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored review panel examined all facets of construction and future operations of the OOI. The OOI team had the opportunity to display the substantive technical progress made so far, while responding to the detailed questions posed by the panel in plenary questions/answer sessions, as well as in focused breakout sessions. From the team’s perspective, it was a productive week of stimulating interaction with an extremely experienced group of panelists. At the conclusion of the review, the panel stated that the OOI is an outstanding program being implemented by a highly motivated and dedicated team. The panel made a number of constructive recommendations that will be incorporated into its report to the NSF.
Meanwhile, a number of significant OOI events will occur in the coming months. In the Coastal Global Scale Nodes (CGSN) component, the test mooring in 25 meters of water off the Oregon coast has been delivering vital engineering data through the near-shore telemetry link and is functioning well. That inshore mooring will be recovered in July. Design reviews and pre-deployment tests are scheduled through the summer for the September deployment of three test moorings in the North Atlantic, south of Martha’s Vineyard. Also, a contract has been awarded to Teledyne Webb Research, of East Falmouth, Massachusetts, to provide open ocean gliders for the CGSN. To read more on that contract, visit http://www.oceanobservatories.org/2011/consortium-for-ocean-leadership-announces-selection-of-teledyne-webb-research-to-provide-open-ocean-gliders-for-ocean-observatories-initiative-ooi/.
In mid-July, the Regional Scaled Node undersea cable will be connected to the shore station at Pacific City and the cable will be deployed by a commercial cable ship across the Juan de Fuca plate to the Axial Volcano and Hydrate Ridge sites. That cable component ultimately will link scientists and others in the user community to data streaming from the extensive array of sensors that will be deployed on the seafloor and on water column moorings. For more information on the cable installation work and for photos, visit http://www.oceanobservatories.org/2011/vessel-underway-for-ocean-observatories-initiative-cable-installation-work/. Additionally, the OOI Cyberinfrastructure team is scheduled to complete “Release 1” of the software architecture this summer, allowing testing of the foundational capabilities of the data distribution system for the OOI.
Follow progress on OOI’s upcoming exciting milestones at www.oceanobservatories.org.