Program Update: Ocean Observatories Initiative – March 2012
The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) this month conducted a successful Production Readiness Review for the program’s coastal gliders, completing a significant step toward operation of this important part of the OOI.
A successful production readiness review makes it possible for the vendor to move forward with production of the gliders. There will be a total of 24 gliders in operation on the east and west coasts. One of the most significant events for the program this year is the initiation of glider operations for the Coastal Global Scale Node (CGSN) part of the program.
Teledyne Webb Research, of East Falmouth, Massachusetts, is providing coastal gliders supporting the Pioneer and Endurance Arrays of the CGSN component of the OOI. Click here to read more about the Coastal Gliders.
Gliders are autonomous underwater vehicles that use buoyancy propulsion to travel through the ocean gathering data on ocean physical, bio-optical and chemical properties, such as temperature, salinity, chlorophyll and dissolved oxygen. Their missions will last up to three months during which they will travel up to 1800 km. While employed, they will relay their data to shore via satellite telemetry.
These “Slocum” gliders will aid the transformational nature of the OOI by enabling continuous monitoring at the coastal Pioneer and Endurance Arrays, allowing near real time series data from remote locations. The data they collect will enhance that collected by fixed buoys, and the glider’s satellite telemetry system will allow the vehicles to relay their data to shore. This communication ability enables scientists to alter the vehicle’s mission instructions for adaptive sampling in response to events in the ocean.
Coastal gliders are modular and are designed with the ability to maneuver and operate where the total water depth is as little as 30 meters and to sample to 1000 meters in deep waters adjacent to the coast. The OOI coastal gliders will operate south of New England as part of the Pioneer Array and off the Pacific Northwest as part of the Endurance array.
In other program news, Satlantic, LP., of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, has been selected to provide Dissolved Nitrates (NUTNR) Instruments for the OOI. Under the $900,000 contract, Satlantic will provide up to 28 NUTNR instruments.
Satlantic is an advanced ocean technology company that develops optical sensors for aquatic research and water quality monitoring. Satlantic’s SUNA Deep and ISUS instruments will be provided for the requirements of the OOI. Click here to read more about this and other recent OOI Contract Awards.
The OOI continues to develop informational tools on the program to benefit the future OOI user community. In March, the first phase of development of detailed OOI Instrument Tables completed with the addition of tables on the Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) component of the program. In the months ahead, the OOI Instrument Tables will be further enhanced. The program welcomes all questions and comments on how we can further improve such tools. To submit a question or comment, click here.