Ocean Observatories Initiative Cable Landing Event, Pacific City, Oregon – July 13, 2011

Pacific City, Oregon (Photo courtesy: bluebook.state.or.us)

Pacific City, Oregon (Photo courtesy: bluebook.state.or.us)


JUNE 20, 2011– The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) program will install off the coast of Pacific City, Ore., the main undersea cable that will link scientists and others on land to data streaming from an extensive array of next generation sensors located in the ocean and on the seafloor, marking progress in construction of the first U.S. regional cabled ocean observatory.

This installation work is taking place from late June through August 2011. Media is invited to attend the cable landing events taking place in Pacific City on July 13.

DATE: Wednesday, July 13, 2011

TIME: Public Open House, 12:00 pm to 3 p.m. followed by a Beach Ceremony. One-on-one interviews with program officials may be arranged prior to or during the Open House.

LOCATION: The Open House will be held at the Kiawanda Community Center, 34600 Cape Kiwanda Drive, Pacific City, Ore. The Beach Ceremony will be located near the beach manhole site, a short walk south from the Community Center.

The OOI, a program funded by the National Science Foundation, is planned as a networked infrastructure of science-driven sensor-robotic systems designed to measure the physical, chemical, geological and biological variables of the ocean. The Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) component of the OOI establishes a cabled network of ocean observing sensors in the Northeast Pacific ocean connected by 900 kilometers of electro-optical cable and designed to operate continuously for 25 years. For more information on OOI visit: www.oceanobservatories.org.

The University of Washington is leading the OOI cabled construction effort and has contracted with L3 MariPro Inc., Goleta, Calif., for the design and build of the OOI RSN primary infrastructure. Oregon State University also will manage technology connected to the cabled infrastructure.

The main undersea cables, also known as the backbone cables, will be installed using a dedicated cable-laying ship, the TE Subcom Dependable.

The at-sea and land cable installation schedule is as follows, with changes subject to weather and ship operations:

June 3: TE Subcom Dependable sailed from Newington, N.H., loaded with the OOI cable.

June 28: At-sea installation of cable begins off the coast of Oregon.

July 10 – July 30: Installation activities at Pacific City, with a halt to work July 14 – 17.

July 11– July 13: Cable segments pulled ashore at Pacific City through conduits previously drilled from an existing manhole at the beach.

July 13 – Aug. 26: At-sea cable installation continues.

The cabled network features two backbone cables extending from the shore station to two main study sites: one cable reaches Hydrate Ridge, approximately 120 km to the southwest of Pacific City, and loops back on the continental shelf to link the cabled moorings of the OOI’s Endurance Array site. The second cable extends 500 kilometers west to the Axial Seamount study site on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Each primary instrumented site will offer two-way communication and will be supplied with up to 10 gigabits per second of telecommunications bandwidth and 8 kilowatts of power. Data will be collected from the sea surface to the seafloor and transmitted to the Internet in near-real time.

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 operations of the OOI network.

About the Consortium for Ocean Leadership

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership is a Washington, D.C.-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.

About the Regional Scale Nodes

Each primary instrumented site on the RSN will offer two-way communication between land and sea, and will be supplied with up to ten gigabits per second of telecommunications bandwidth and eight kilowatts of power. Data will be collected from the sea surface to the seafloor and transmitted to the Internet in near-real time. This cabled component of the OOI addresses two major themes: 1) the provision of power and bandwidth to empower and develop a host of exciting new and rapidly developing technologies; and 2) a sustained, long-term and distributed presence throughout the ocean for decades.

For more information and to request interviews, please contact:

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

Nancy Penrose
Communications Coordinator for Ocean Observatories Initiative
University of Washington
Office: (206) 221-5781
Cell: (425) 753-0623