Program Update – October 2011

OOI Program Update

This month the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) program awarded two important contracts for air-sea instrument packages and wire following profiler capabilities for the Coastal Global Scale Nodes (CGSN) component of the OOI. And while equipment and instruments continue to be tested and put in place for the OOI, all those interested can learn more about the instrument locations, measurements and data that will result by visiting a new Instrument Table Section on the OOI Website.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the implementing organization for the CGSN, awarded a contract to Pro-Oceanus Systems, Inc., of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada, to provide Partial Pressure of CO2, or p(CO2) , air-sea instrument packages for CGSN. The p(CO2) air-sea instrument package will measure CO2 in the surface water and in the air just above the water to get a better picture of how CO2 moves between the atmosphere and the ocean. Click here for more information on this Air-Sea Instrument Package Contract.

WHOI this month also awarded a contract to McLane Research Laboratories, of East Falmouth, Mass., to provide the Wire Following Profiler for the CGSN. A wire following profiler is a platform which propels itself along the length of the mooring line holding the oceanographic mooring in place. The coastal wire following profiler is deployed in coastal regimes with water depths up to 500 meters. The global wire following profiler is deployed in the open ocean far from shore in waters as deep as 5200 meters. Click here for more information on the Wire Following Profiler Contract.

Meanwhile, the new Instrument Table Section debuted on the OOI Website and will expand with additional locations and features in the coming weeks. The goal of this website feature is to provide the scientific community with up-to-date, detailed descriptions of the instrumentation found throughout the numerous components and locations of the OOI. The first component of the OOI featured in this new tool was the Pioneer Array.  All of components of the OOI will be added to include: Endurance Array, Regional Scale Nodes, Irminger Sea, Station Papa, Argentine Basin and the Southern Ocean.

The OOI will consist of six arrays with 56 total moorings and 763 instruments.  The program will continue to upgrade and maintain this instrument section so that it can be used by members of the scientific community, as well as others, as a critical resource to explore the OOI program and all that it will offer for ocean observation study and research.  With this tool, scientists, educators and the public will be able to identify detailed instrument descriptions and see the connection each instrument has to the data products it will provide.  In addition, instrument locations and depths are depicted in the Portal.  All Instrument Tables can be downloaded.

Also in October, a workshop entitled, “Science Planning for the OOI Regional Scale Node at Axial Seamount,” was held in Seattle, WA.  The workshop was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Pacific Marine Environment Laboratory, with support from members of the OOI Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) team. The event provided an opportunity to learn about the research opportunities of OOI-RSN and provide ideas for how to maximize the scientific return for the investment in this research infrastructure.

Please continue to visit the OOI Website to track progress on OOI tests, events and more.


Tim Cowles, Program Director, Ocean Observing