CTD Contract Awarded to Sea-Bird Electronics


SBE Microcat

(Washington, D.C.) – The Consortium for Ocean Leadership, with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), has selected Sea-Bird Electronics, Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., to provide Conductivity, Temperature and Depth (CTD) instruments for the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI).

The OOI, a project funded by the NSF in part with funding made available by the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act, is planned as a networked infrastructure of science-driven sensor systems to measure the physical, chemical, geological and biological variables in the ocean and seafloor.

Under a $3 million, three-year contract with an additional one-year option, Sea-Bird Electronics will provide the CTD instruments necessary to support the scientific measurement objectives of the OOI. The CTD instruments are critical to the OOI network’s objective of measuring temperature, conductivity and pressure from which salinity and density of ocean water can be calculated. Designed to function as a fully integrated system, OOI will collect data on coastal, regional and global scales.

“The incorporation of these instruments into the overall OOI network is vital for making the precise measurements required to increase our understanding of key ocean processes,” said Tim Cowles, Vice President & Director of Ocean Observing at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. “Sea-Bird Electronics brings demonstrated expertise to the program in providing high-quality instruments that will obtain the critical scientific measurements of temperature, conductivity, and pressure at the multiple locations and depths of the OOI infrastructure.”

The OOI Program is managed and coordinated 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.  Three Implementing Organizations are responsible for construction and development of the overall program. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and its partners, Oregon State University and Scripps Institution of Oceanography are responsible for the coastal and global moorings and their autonomous vehicles. The University of Washington is responsible for cabled seafloor systems and moorings on the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate. The University of California, San Diego, is implementing the cyberinfrastructure component.

The OOI five-year construction phase began in September 2009, with nearly $106 million of first-year funds coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and $5.91 million in NSF construction funds. Requests in FY 2010 and beyond, totaling $274.58 million for construction, fund the acquisition of OOI instruments and sensors, production of key infrastructure elements such as the coastal and open ocean moorings and the deployment of these assets.

Initial funding for OOI under the Cooperative Agreement supports a wide range of construction efforts, including production engineering and prototyping of key coastal and open-ocean components (moorings, buoys, sensors), award of the primary seafloor cable contract, completion of a shore station for power and data, and software development for sensor interfaces to the network. Subsequent years of funding will support the completion of coastal, deep-ocean, and seafloor systems, with initial data flow scheduled for early 2013 and final commissioning of the full system in 2015.

For more information on CTD’s, click here.

About the Consortium for Ocean Leadership

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that represents 95 of the leading public and private ocean research and education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to advance research, education and sound ocean policy. The organization also manages ocean research and education programs in areas of scientific ocean drilling, ocean observing, ocean exploration, and ocean partnerships.


For more information or interviews, contact:

Kerry G. Beck
Director of Communications, OOI
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Office: (202) 787-1685
Cell: (202) 538-0099