OOI Webinar Q & A: 2013-2014 Deployments and Initial Sampling

questions and answersPrior to the OOI Webinar on March 19, 2013, participants were invited to submit questions they would like to have addressed during the Webinar. 

Many of these questions were addressed during the Webinar – click here for the full Webinar story and to view/download the presentation – some, however, were not answered at the event either because the questions were outside of the scope of the Webinar, or due to time constraints.

Below are answers to many of the questions, including some that were answered during the event.  If you have any further questions, please submit them on our website here.  For details on the next webinar, check back on the OOI website, or sign up for our newsletter. 

What are the completion dates and the scope of the global deployments for 2013-2014?

The Station Papa Array is planned to be installed in summer 2013 and the Irminger Sea Array in summer 2014.  Please see the deployment schedule on the OOI website for updates and further details.

What are the projected dates for deployments of the remaining infrastructure?

Please see the deployment schedule on our website for information on deployment schedules for other aspects of the program.

When will data be available from the 2013-2014 deployments and how can it be accessed?

The OOI Program Office will release certain data to the user community prior to the commissioning of OOI assets, including the commissioning of Cyberinfrastructure (scheduled for commissioning in OOI Release 3). This pre-commission data will be available via the OOI website following post-deployment validation testing. Per the OOI Data Policy, there will be open access to all data. Users will find a Data tab on the OOI website that will serve as the data portal or entry point. 

The released pre-commission data is considered preliminary with no assurance of quality or accuracy. Associated metadata may likewise not be provided or not provided at the commission standard. Since these data are intended primarily for internal system development purposes, quality controls may not be applied in full and the OOI Program Office offers no assurance that the data will be stored and submitted to archives.

For more information, please see the Pre-commission Data Procedure  and the  Data User Terms and Conditions.

What will the web interface to access data from the OOI look like?

Data will be freely accessible on the Data page of the OOI website until the Integrated Observatory Network (ION) is operational (OOI Release 3).  Detailed instructions about how to access data from the OOI website will be posted on the OOI website shortly after deployments are completed.

The Integrated Observatory Network connects and coordinates the operations of the OOI marine components with the scientific and educational pursuits of oceanographic research communities. It is an integrating infrastructure that makes ocean data from all OOI core instruments and select other observing systems available to everyone, from scientists and researchers to teachers, students, and the interested public. You can access the data available in ION through a web interface. There you will find tools to help you locate, evaluate, and download ocean data. You will also find tools to keep you informed of changes to data you are interested in and tools that enable you to share your data with other ION users.

Where can I find more information on specific sampling strategies for instruments on the deployed arrays?

We are currently working to create a comprehensive document of the initial sampling strategy upon deployment of each array.  Please check back to the OOI website for updates.

What research vessels will be involved in the deployment? Are partnerships with other countries being considered?

The Station Papa team from WHOI and Scripps have been in close communication with Canadian researchers who use Station Papa. No explicit partnerships are planned at this time in the deployment of hardware, however. As for the Irminger Sea Array, while no formal partnerships have been made, coordination activities are underway for science work that has been planned and in review at present time. Coordination and logistical preparations are underway in anticipation of collaborative ocean observing in the North Atlantic.

The current OOI deployment vessel plan is as follows:

RSN and Endurance Array summer deployment: R/V T.G. Thompson
Station Papa deployment: R/V Melville
Endurance Array October deployment: R/V Oceanus
Pioneer deployment: R/V Knorr
2014: TBD

Will there be room for other researchers on OOI Cruises?

Funding for ship time comes from OOI budgetary sources and OOI work has absolute priority. The primary objective of OOI cruises is initial deployment and operations and maintenance of infrastructure.  There may be some opportunity to accommodate other researchers during these trips.  The program will work to ensure there is a clear and open process for evaluating requests and determining an unbiased process for selection of participants.

How will periodic shipboard observations within each OOI array area be handled? Will they be scheduled by externally funded programs, or handled under an umbrella OOI cruise program?

Shipboard observations taken on OOI deployment and operations & maintenance cruises are for the purposes of quality assurance and quality control of data produced by the OOI core instruments. i.e., shipboard sampling protocol is designed to support calibration and field verification of core instrument/sensor data.

Other observations taken within or near the OOI arrays that are not associated directly with OOI deployment or O&M cruises must be funded by other non-OOI sources (e.g., competitive proposal funding from NSF core programs, other agency support, etc.).

How will OOI and IOOS be coordinating their efforts?

The OOI is the NSF’s major contribution to the broader national and international efforts to establish the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), respectively. The OOI will directly contribute to IOOS through the development of novel observing, data assimilation, and data management techniques as well as by advancing understanding of ocean phenomena. The NOAA/IOOS Data Management and Communications group is working with the OOI Cyberinfrastructure team to promote convergence of the OOI and NOAA data systems.

How will issue of data “ownership” be handled for the core measurements?   Who can publish what, and how soon?

The OOI data policy maintains that there is open access to all core data. All initially deployed instruments by the OOI team are considered part of the core instrumentation and all data from those core instruments are open and accessible to the community. Any individual can use those data; there are no constraints on who publishes or how soon. Also addressed in the Data Policy, if an investigator is funded to deploy non-core instruments, that investigator may request up to one year of private access to the data before it’s made available to the rest of the community.

Data policy and terms and conditions documentation can be found on the Data page of the OOI website, as well as the following documents – OOI Data Policy &  Data User Terms and Conditions

What opportunities/constraints will there be for researchers to add new infrastructure to the OOI?

From the NSF Division of Ocean Sciences Newsletter (11/30/12):

In 2014, NSF expects the project to achieve certain milestones that will allow NSF to communicate a process to the community for proposals that add instruments or infrastructure to the current OOI configuration.

How can PI’s learn about specifications and requirements to ensure compatibility with OOI Infrastructure for project specific (non-core) instruments of sensors?

As we work toward finalizing the proposal process it will become clearer exactly how non-core instruments will be integrated into the arrays and what specifications will be required of these instruments.  As instrument specification information becomes available, we will post updates on the OOI website and newsletter.

Will there be opportunities for researchers to manipulate the sampling regime of fixed and mobile assets at the arrays?

The anticipated approach of altering the configuration after OOI commissioning in 2015 is as follows:

The researcher will propose (to NSF, not to the OOI) a new configuration such as a new instrument, different sampling strategy, or specific mission profile for mobile assets, after technical Q&A with OOI engineers, and budget guidance from OOI documents and website.

If the NSF proposal review is successful, then additional technical assessment (power balancing, buoyancy, connectors, etc.) may be needed before scheduling. This process would be similar to UNOLS ship time requests.

When the scheduled work is ready to be implemented, the OOI operations team will establish the researcher’s ‘configuration’ of that segment of the observatory, and assist the researcher in sustaining the approved work during the scheduled interval.

What can we as a community do to help facilitate OOI-enabled research?

From the NSF Division of Ocean Sciences newsletter (11/30/12):

NSF is encouraging interested individuals and groups to propose and participate in science workshops centered around different components of OOI (see the Pioneer Array workshop report as an example).  Individuals/groups interested in submitting research proposals to NSF should contact their programs officer(s) for information about the timing and process. 

What types of instruments will be deployed?

As planned, the OOI core instrumentation will be composed of approximately 770 instruments from over 45 classes of specialized instrumentation reaching from surface buoys to the seafloor.  For more information on sensors within the OOI and on which arrays they will be deployed, please see the online instrument tables.

Where will Bio-Acoustic Sensors be deployed throughout the program?

Bio-Acoustic Sonar instruments will be deployed on the Pioneer Array; Endurance Array Oregon and Washington Lines; and Global Arrays – Irminger Sea, Station Papa, Argentine Basin, and the Southern Ocean.  Please see each station’s instrument tables (above hyperlinks) for more information on the instrument make and model and the exact location within the arrays.

How will crustal activity be monitored? What types of seafloor sensors will be deployed?

Seafloor sensors will be deployed on the Regional Scale Nodes cabled array as well as the cabled portions of the Endurance Array on the Oregon Line.  These cables provide unprecedented power (10 kV, 8 kW) and bandwidth (10 GbE) to scientific sensor arrays on the seafloor and throughout the water column.

Crustal activity specifically will be examined on the Axial Seamount, the most magmatically robust volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge spreading center that erupted in April 2011.  It hosts numerous active hydrothermal fields and abundant sites of diffuse flow and it is one of the best-studied volcanoes along the global mid-ocean ridge spreading center.

For more information on instruments deployed on the seafloor, please see the Regional Scale Nodes and Endurance Array Oregon Line instrument tables.

Where can I find more information on the East Coast Arrays?

The Pioneer Array is a network of platforms and sensors operating on the continental shelf and slope south of New England. A moored array will be centered at the shelf break in the mid-Atlantic Bight south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) will sample the frontal region in the vicinity of the moored array, and gliders will resolve mesoscale features on the outer shelf and the slope sea between the shelf break front and the Gulf Stream.

For more information on specific instruments located at the Pioneer Array, visit the Pioneer Array Online Instrument Tables.

What types of gliders and autonomous underwater vehicles will be deployed?

Teledyne Webb will provide modifications of the Slocum gliders for both coastal and open ocean deployments. Gliders will be deployed at all stations within the OOI with the exception of the Regional Scale Nodes. Hydroid will provide Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) for deployment at the Pioneer Array.

For more information on gliders and AUVs please see the Coastal and Open Ocean Glider contract awards and the AUV contract award.  Locations of AUV and glider deployments can also be found in the online instrument tables.

Can you confirm that the NOAA surface mooring at Papa will make wave data available?

Though the OOI Station Papa moorings will be located in proximity to the NOAA surface mooring, we do not control instrumentation on the NOAA equipment.  For more information on what instrumentation is available please see the NOAA Station Papa website.  These data will also be available through the OOI Integrated Observatory Network website upon its release.

How will sensors be calibrated and cross-calibrated, and at what frequency?

All sensors will be calibrated before and after deployment. Pre-deployment calibration (primary calibration) is provided by the vendor of the sensor/instrument and must meet the performance requirements of OOI.

Post deployment calibration (secondary calibration) method and location depends on the type of instrument and the ‘stability’ of the sensor once it is removed from its operational position.  The source/location of the secondary calibration data or adjustment can be any of the following:

  • test of instrument calibration, e.g., post-recovery, at manufacturer’s facility;
  • test of instrument intercalibration of all instruments deployed, e.g., post-recovery, at a facility of an OOI implementing organization (or subcontracted facility);
  • shipboard, or otherwise in-situ, measurements made during an OOI cruise
  • in situ calibration process on deployed instruments;
  • other sources of information gathered through Field Verification of instrument measurements such as intercomparison of instruments;

The calibration approach and method, by instrument is contained in the OOI Protocols and Procedures for OOI Data Products.

Are there plans for outreach and telepresence during the cruise season?

We hope to do live broadcasts from the Visions ’13 cruise in the Pacific on the Juan de Fuca Plate this summer.  Those plans are not yet finalized, however.  Please check back on the OOI and Visions ’13 websites as the cruise date approaches.

Will data from the OOI be relevant and adaptable for high school earth science curriculum?

The OOI Education and Public Engagement (EPE) Implementing Organization will leverage OOI’s collection of data of real world phenomena within a framework of visualization technology and data visualization tools in educational contexts that can help engage students in active scientific inquiry.   Specifically, the EPE will develop five online services including: 

  1. educational visualization tools
  2. an ontology-linked concept mapping tool
  3. a lab-lesson builder
  4. an educational resource database
  5. a collaboration portal for educators

Collectively, these tools will provide easy access for the development and use of educationally appropriate scientific data visualizations, helping to translate OOI science themes into educational materials, deliver the capability to collaboratively build and edit online lesson/lab units, enable virtual collaboration and sharing of oceanographic data and learning materials, and help to facilitate broader access to data. 

Though these tools were initially designed for college students, they could be applied to upper level high school curriculum depending on the science level of the students in the class. Additionally, as these tools were designed such that educators could create and store lessons online, it would be possible to create unique lessons for your students to match a specific curriculum.