Program Update – September 2012

OOI Program UpdateThe Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) team continued to move forward with a number of construction activities in September after completing installation of the primary nodes infrastructure in the Northeast Pacific Ocean.

During September the program made available an updated OOI Planned Installation Schedule. Click here to review that OOI Planned Installation Schedule. The graphic shows OOI installation dates that are accurate as of the date the file was posted, Sept. 13, 2012. Future updates to the schedule will be made as needed.  Another useful tool that continues to be updated on a regular basis is the OOI Instrument Table Section. That section details location and types of instruments that will be key to the OOI infrastructure at all locations.

OOI team member, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), in September opened a new state-of-the art Laboratory for Ocean Sensors and Observing Systems (LOSOS), which houses work for the OOI and other WHOI ocean observing efforts. WHOI is leading the Coastal and Global Scale Nodes component of the OOI, and this team occupies most of the LOSOS, including the central high bay, built to accommodate tall buoys with a 10-ton capacity bridge crane for hoisting them. 

 The 26,000-square-foot, green-designed building provides space for the major effort to create long-term ocean observatories.  The facility officially opened following a dedication ceremony on September 20, where the National Standards and Technology (NIST) Deputy Director Willie May was joined by WHOI President and Director Susan Avery.  In 2010, WHOI received an $8.1 million grant from NIST to fund construction of the new scientific research facility as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  WHOI contributed $4 million. Click here to read more about the new WHOI LOSOS Facility.

Among the outreach efforts in September, John R. Delaney, Director and Principal Investigator of the OOI Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) and Professor of Oceanography at the University of Washington had the opportunity to share his thoughts on exploring the Earth’s oceans during a special event at San Francisco’s Exploratorium.

The Sept. 13 event came soon after the OOI RSN Team recently completed a major construction milestone with installation of the primary nodes of the cabled component of the OOI infrastructure in the Northeast Pacific Ocean.  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.

The Exploratorium has presented a series focused on NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover and research recently and the exchange with Delaney allowed for a comparison between exploring the oceans and distant planets.  Delaney was able to share information on the OOI and the goals of the program with a wide audience. A webcast of that special event can be viewed here:  And click here for more information on the OOI Primary Node Installation Activities.

This month the OOI will participate as part of a larger Consortium for Ocean Leadership presence at the Oceans 2012 MTS/IEEE conference at Virginia Beach Convention Center on Oct. 15-19.   Please continue to visit the OOI Website for program updates and other activities slated to take place this month.