Marking a major milestone, the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) program in July successfully deployed the first global site of the OOI infrastructure at the Station Papa location in the Gulf of Alaska.
A team lead by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, with their partners at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, embarked on cruise starting on July 15 to deploy this equipment. The cruise, which concluded on July 29, took place on the Scripps/U.S. Navy Research Vessel (R/V) Melville. The vessel departed and returned to the University of Washington dock in Seattle, WA.
During the cruise, the OOI team deployed one Global Hybrid Profiler Mooring, two Mesoscale Flanking Moorings and three Global Gliders. A total of 57 instruments were deployed. Testing to date demonstrates equipment is functioning and properly relaying data for test purposes. The OOI team will continuously monitor the equipment and make more information available when possible on the OOI Website. This cruise marks a major step in deploying a critical component of the OOI program and has been several years in the planning and development stages.
The global component of the OOI design includes a network of moorings at critical, yet under-sampled, high-latitude locations such as the Station Papa site in the North Pacific. The array is composed of a subsurface Global Hybrid Profiler Mooring made up of two types of profilers: a surface piercing profiler operating from ~150 m to the surface, allowing satellite data telemetry, and two wire following profilers, one operating from 310 m to 2,170 m and the other from 2,195 m to 4,060 m. A prototype Global Surface Piercing Profiler was deployed as part of the Hybrid Profiler Mooring during the cruise.
The OOI hybrid profiler mooring will supplement a pre-existing surface mooring operated by NOAA/PMEL at station PAPA, and is also located next to the end point of the Canadian line-P hydrographic section occupied several times per year.
The two subsurface Mesoscale Flanking Moorings were deployed to form a triangular array ~40 km on a side. These flanking moorings have their uppermost flotation and sensors at ~30 m depth and instruments at discrete depths along the mooring line. Gliders equipped with acoustic modems to relay data to shore via satellite telemetry will sample within and around the triangular array. These gliders will carry sensor suites with the capability to alter sampling rates during a mission.
Also in July a University of Washington (UW) -led team embarked on Visions ’13 Cruise in the northeast Pacific Ocean to conduct considerable at-sea work on the cabled observatory component of the OOI. The OOI regional cabled observatory, often referred to as the OOI’s Regional Scales Node, is the first United States regional cabled observatory.
The observatory is establishing an interactive network of ocean observing sensors, instruments, and moorings connected by a total of 900 kilometers (~ 560 miles) of electro-optical cable. Please visit the UW Interactive Oceans Website for updates from the Visions ’13 Cruise and to view streaming video from the cruise.
In other news, the OOI Coastal and Global Scale Nodes team is soliciting proposals for procurement of Un-Cabled Bio-Acoustic Sonar Instruments. For details on this solicitation Click Here or go to: https://ooi-website.whoi.edu/2013/request-for-proposal-rfp-un-cabled-bio-acoustic-sonar-instruments-whoi-ooi/.