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MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR – April 2015

From the DirectorFor those of you who don’t know me I’m Mike Kelly, the Director of OOI since the beginning of this year. Prior to assuming this position, I had been the OOI Sr. Project Manager, and at the start of the project spent three years working at UW on the Cabled Array. My background includes many years at sea where I was Captain of a number of ships, transitioning to ashore work in fleet and submersible management, network operations, and the implementation of a number of marine technologies. I’m excited by the progress that we’ve made in the construction effort, particularly the deployment success by our Marine Implementing Organizations. The entire construction team has been hard at work over the last 6 years, and look forward to transitioning the results of our work to the community through data streams.

We have heard the community comments and questions on the status of construction completion of the OOI. In these final months leading to construction closeout, I will provide a brief progress status each week on www.oceanobservatories.org in an effort to keep the community informed about program status. If you have any specific questions, please ask! You can submit questions through the OOI website here.

The critical path in our completion is the CyberInfrastructure, which can be parsed into software and network/hardware. We began an aggressive schedule of implementing a new service oriented architecture in August 2014, and have made significant progress. Ocean Leadership is leading this software build using Raytheon, Applied Science Associates, and Rutgers University. Upon completion of the OOINet software build, Rutgers will assume Operations and Maintenance responsibility as the CI Implementing Organization.   The key components of the software build are the instrument specific drivers/agents, uFrame service oriented architecture, and the User Interface. Driver/Agent work is coming to a close, and we are focusing on testing the data ingestion and data product generation. We have demonstrated successful data product generation for over half of the instrument types. Our current effort is on completing the data product testing, and optimizing performance speeds as well as integration of the User Interface. In parallel with the software effort, Rutgers is building the hardware and network to support OOINet and their effort is on schedule. We will be delivering OOI data through OOINet by the end of June 2015. This delivery will include the pre-commissioning data which we have been archiving since the marine infrastructure deployments started.

The key milestones to this delivery:

  1. May 15 – Integrated and tested OOINet Build 4 Complete
  2. May 21 – Start of Alpha testing (Alpha testers include OOI internal operators, NSF, UNOLS OOSC, and selected instrument subject matter experts)
  3. June 22 – Integrated and tested OOINet Build 5 Complete
  4. June 30 – Start of Beta testing. (Beta testers include existing Alpha testers, with inclusion of a number of science community members. Criteria for Beta testers will be released to our website by June 3)
  5. July 30 – Announcement of Commissioned System

The key functionality of OOINet:

  • Select specific instruments
  • Visualize or download metadata
  • Visualize or download data products
    • Data products will be delivered with QC flags
    • Downloaded data is delivered as NetCDF files
  • Visualize health/status of the OOI infrastructure
  • Submit and obtain status of support requests

As interim steps we released the Cabled Array seismometer data through the Incorporated Research Institute for Seismology ( http://www.iris.edu/hq/ ) in December 2014, and next week expect to have the bottom pressure data released. We have also released the Cabled Array tilt meter and co-located temperature data through Dr. Bill Chadwick of NOAA/PMEL, who is providing publicly available plots at http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/eoi/rsn/ . We appreciate the cooperation in both these efforts.

On the marine infrastructure side, you can see from our web articles that we are making good progress. All four Global Arrays (Irminger Sea, Station Papa, Argentine Basin, and Southern Ocean) are installed and planning for maintenance cruises are in progress. The Endurance Array has two remaining moorings to be installed at the Oregon Inshore site to complete construction. Pioneer departed April 28th for another of the incremental deployment cruises. At the completion of this cruise all moorings will be deployed with the exception of two cutting technologies, the AUV Docking Station and the Surface Mooring methanol fuel cell. During the NSF Construction Review in May 2015 we will review progress on these technologies, and consider options based on completion progress. The Cabled Array continues to operate well. Its’ final construction activity will take place in July 2016 with the replacement of three Deep Profilers that failed prematurely during the initial deployment. After the Deep Profiler replacement, the cruise will continue with the first Cabled Array maintenance cycle.

As we closeout construction, we continue to adjust staffing to a smaller team which matches the skillsets required for Operations & Maintenance. Considerable progress has been made with staffing and implementing the CI Data Management group, which includes the Help Desk. We have implemented weekly calls to review data management and sensor infrastructure. These calls consist of the CI Data Management group, Chief Scientists for OOI cruises, OOI Project office, NSF, and UNOLS Ocean Observing Science Committee. The CI Data Management group is planning preliminary data assessments and community workshops, along with addressing how to implement community feedback.

OOI construction has been a long road, and the end is in sight! There is much work ahead, as data delivery will lead the way to new discovery and the optimization of operations.