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Program Update – December 2012

OOI Program UpdateHaving achieved a number of significant milestones in 2012, the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) program has entered 2013 with installation and test activities continuing at a rapid pace, transitioning the program into ‘build and deploy’ phase. 

OOI installations will begin this summer and into the fall with the deployment of an instrumented cabled seafloor facility off Oregon and Washington; a moored array of sensors at “Station Papa” in the Gulf of Alaska, and initial deployments with the Coastal Arrays.

The current planned OOI Installation Schedule, along with tables of detailed information about the 2013 and 2014 deployments, is posted on the OOI website. These deployment schedules are, however, subject to revision if budgets and ship schedules change. View that Installation Schedule here.

The summer of 2012 saw the successful installation of seven Primary Nodes on the OOI submarine cable infrastructure in the Northeast Pacific, led by the OOI Regional Scales Nodes (RSN) group at the University of Washington. The primary nodes serve as the power and data connection points on the network, supporting the connection and installation of a wide range of instrumentation.  For more on the primary node installation activities, please read the full story about the Primary Node Installation, check out the Primary Node Installation Photo Tour, and visit the RSN Blog here.  The RSN component of the OOI will be the first United States regional cabled observatory.

The Endurance Array (EA) component, led by Oregon State University, also made exciting progress during 2012. Perhaps most exciting were the successful verification tests of the coastal and open ocean gliders conducted by OOI and Teledyne Webb Research.  Glider tests were conducted in November 2011 and from January to February 2012 for coastal gliders as well as from May to June 2012 and September to November 2012 for global gliders.  As a result of these successful tests, coastal gliders have now reached production readiness status, and production units are being fabricated. Open ocean glider production is underway in preparation for initial deployments at Station Papa this summer.  For further information on glider testing, click here.

On the East Coast, the Coastal and Global Scale Nodes component (CGSN), led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), successfully completed an at-sea equipment test of moorings off the New England Coast.  Of the three test moorings, two were tests of the moorings to be deployed in the Pioneer Array component of the OOI and the third was a deep test mooring, designed to be used in the Global Arrays component.  Though based on decades of experience, the OOI mooring designs are new and testing allowed the OOI team to validate the designs of these important components of the infrastructure. Test moorings were deployed in September 2011, and were successfully recovered in April 2012.  For the full story, check out the OOI website here.

 The OOI’s unique Cyberinfrastructure (CI), led by the University of California, San Diego, continues to emerge with progressive software releases.  The CI Team completed the first release (R1) of software that provides the fundamental computing and data distribution infrastructure at the end of 2011.

 The CI team has been working on the next software release, R2, to build the OOI’s Managed Instrument Network. In mid-2013, the second software release (R2) will be completed, providing for active management of the installed infrastructure by the OOI team. During 2013, development of release 3 (R3), the OnDemand Measurement Processing release, will continue.  R3 will add the end-to-end control of how data and data products are processed.  This is the first release of the Integrated Observatory Network (ION) that is intended for providing access to OOI data and data products to the general public.

During 2013, the integration of the CI and Education and Public Engagement (EPE) components of the program will continue.

The OOI EPE team, led by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is building a variety of software interfaces and web-based tools that ultimately will allow educators to bring the ocean into their learning environments. In 2012, the EPE team continued their work constructing a series of software and web-based social networking tools designed to provide science educators with a suite of tools allowing them to enhance their graduate and undergraduate education activities and engage the general public using ocean observation data from the OOI.

Detailed information on the OOI equipment and sensors and their data products can be found on the OOI Instrument Table Section of the website.  The OOI presents a range of opportunities for those in the user community and plans to host workshops on mobile platform sampling strategies, data quality and sampling scenarios.  To learn more, click here ask a question or submit a comment to the OOI.

The OOI, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded program, will deliver high quality data on ocean processes and properties to address critical science-driven questions that will contribute to better understanding and management of the oceans. The OOI Program is managed by the OOI Project Office at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, in Washington, D.C., and is responsible for construction and initial operations of the OOI network.