Program Update – August 2012

OOI Program UpdateThe Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) program’s Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) team completed a significant construction milestone in August with installation of the primary nodes for the cabled component of the OOI infrastructure in the Northeast Pacific.

The primary nodes are seven main connection points on the network that provide for power and communications.  The OOI regional cabled observatory, located in the northeast Pacific Ocean, will establish an interactive network of ocean observing sensors, instruments, and moorings connected by a total of 900 kilometers (~ 560 miles) of electro-optical cable.  The OOI team began installing the first node on July 9 and completed work on August 18 when Primary Node 3B, the final of seven nodes, was deployed from the aft deck of TE SubCom Dependable.

The RSN 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, Oregon, and Axial Seamount, located 500 kilometers (~ 310 miles) west on the Juan de Fuca Ridge.  Click Here to view a graphic of the location.  

The RSN cables also will serve the cabled moorings of the OOI’s Coastal Scale Nodes Oregon Line at the Endurance Array site (Nodes 1C and 1D in figure).  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.  Once connected to the cable, each primary node installed will provide two-way communication between land and sea and will supply 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 RSN will be the first United States regional cabled observatory.  The infrastructure is designed to operate continuously for 25 years and is scheduled to be operational in 2014. For more on the RSN primary node installation activities, read the full story on the Primary Node Installation and visit the RSN Blog here.

In the area of outreach, the OOI in August launched a new a new email newsletter aimed at informing the community on program progress and providing quick and easy links to items of interest posted on the OOI Website.

The intent is to simplify access to the extensive, up-to-date news and technical information available via the OOI website, and to provide frequent updates about the substantive developments during construction of the OOI infrastructure. The August issue highlights the recent installation of Primary Nodes for the in the Northeast Pacific, as well as a variety of test and outreach event news. To join the mail distribution list for the OOI newsletter, please send a request to with the subject line “Subscribe” or fill out a request form in our Question & Comments Section.

The OOI also is currently seeking applicants to serve in a key advisory role for the program. The OOI Program Advisory Committee was established in 2008 to advise the OOI Program Office and the OOI Implementing Organizations (IOs) during planning for and construction of the OOI.   The program will be adding new members this fall to this rotating membership committee.

The PAC:

  • Is the primary consultative group for the Director for Ocean Observing Activities at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
  • Provides leadership on scientific issues impacting the OOI facility.
  • Provides strategic planning on science programs catalyzed by the OOI.
  • Represents the community during discussions with the Program Office.
  • Provides a conduit for community input into the implementation and management of the OOI facility.
  • Provides assessment of community responsiveness to the transformative capabilities of the OOI facility.

PAC members also serve as a resource pool for specific roles during the construction phase.   In consultation with the Director for Ocean Observing Activities, the PAC may form subcommittees or ad hoc advisory groups as appropriate during construction of the OOI facility.  This flexibility ensures that the advisory structure is adaptable to changing program needs, and that funds and human resources allocated for supporting the program’s advisory functions are used effectively.

The PAC works directly with the Director for Ocean Observing Activities at Ocean Leadership and formally reports to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Ocean Leadership on a regular basis.

Click here to read more about the OOI PAC and its current members. Click here to Request Information About Serving on the OOI PAC.

To learn more about the OOI, please continue to visit the OOI Website and OOI Facebook and Twitter accounts for event coverage.