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OOI Updates Installation Plan for Next Phase of Cabled Observatory

The VISIONS’13 expedition is scheduled to take place in July and August on the R/V Thompson shown above. A University of Washington-led team will do considerable at sea preparation work during the cruise for future installation of the secondary infrastructure on the Ocean Observatories Initiative’s cabled observatory in the northeast Pacific Ocean. (Credit: Allison Fundis, University of Washington, 2011)

(Click to enlarge) The VISIONS’13 expedition is scheduled to take place in July and August on the R/V Thompson shown above. A University of Washington-led team will do considerable at sea preparation work during the cruise for future installation of the secondary infrastructure on the Ocean Observatories Initiative’s cabled observatory in the northeast Pacific Ocean. (Credit: Allison Fundis, University of Washington, 2011)

The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) program has made some changes to plans for installation of the secondary infrastructure on cabled observatory component of the program in the northeast Pacific Ocean.

Click HERE to view a live video feed from the Visions 13 cruise.

The VISIONS’13 expedition is scheduled to take place in July and August on the R/V Thompson. Using the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) ROPOS, a University of Washington (UW) team of engineers and scientists had planned to install a variety of instruments and instrument platforms at five study sites in the northeast Pacific Ocean. That installation work is being delayed temporarily as the team works with contractor L-3 MariPro toward acceptance of the components of the system installed last year. That work is ongoing and progressing.

As a result, during the upcoming Visions ‘13 cruise, the UW team will conduct considerable at-sea work in preparation for the connection work that will take place at a later date. Please visit the OOI Website for updates on the Thompson cruise and revised secondary infrastructure installation plans.

The OOI regional cabled observatory, often referred to as the OOI’s Regional Scales Node (RSN), is the first United States regional cabled observatory. The observatory is establishing an interactive network of ocean observing sensors, instruments, and moorings connected by a total of 900 kilometers (~ 560 miles) of electro-optical cable. Last summer the UW-led team installed the primary nodes for the OOI cabled component. Those “primary nodes” are seven main connection points on the network that provide for power and communications.   The OOI team began installing the first primary node on July 9 and completed that work on August 18. Click here to read a full story and see maps of the Primary Node Installation.

The cables extend to two main study sites: Hydrate Ridge, located at the base of the Oregon continental margin approximately 120 kilometers (~75 miles) southwest of Pacific City, Ore., and Axial Seamount, located 500 kilometers (~ 310 miles) west on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. The cables also will serve the cabled moorings of the OOI’s Coastal Scale Nodes Oregon Line at the Endurance Array site.

Two primary nodes are installed at Hydrate Ridge, two at Axial Seamount, two on the Endurance Line, and one in the middle of the Juan de Fuca plate, a placeholder with minimal internal electronics that will be available for future network expansion. When connected to the cable, each primary node provides two-way communication between land and sea and supplies instrument arrays with up to 10 gigabits per second of communications bandwidth and 8 kilowatts of power.  Data will be collected by instruments from the sea surface to the seafloor, transmitted by cable, and publicly available onshore in near-real time via the Internet. The secondary infrastructure installation phase includes 24 kilometers of extension cables, 11 secondary nodes and junction boxes, and some 40 sensors of 13 different types.

The OOI, a National Science Foundation-funded program, is managed and coordinated by the OOI Program Management Office at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington, D.C. Please continue to visit the OOI Website  and the UW Interactive Oceans Website and for updates from the Visions ’13 Cruise and other status reports on the OOI.

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