AUV Data Available in a Variety of Formats

We recently announced and demonstrated new access to autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) data through OOI’s Data Explorer. Since the initial announcement, more has been done to provide additional AUV data and improve data delivery. As part of OOI’s efforts towards Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) data, not only are AUV data easier to find and access, we now are providing these data in more interoperable and reusable formats.

When you view an AUV Deployment in Data Explorer (FIG 1), data in different formats may be accessed either through the Metadata link in the left panel (FIG 1 A) or the Downloads button (FIG 1 B). The Downloads button provides access to data products, in formats including comma separated variable (CSV), that are derived from Network Common Data Form (NetCDF) files in the OOI Raw Data Repository. To access these NetCDF files, open the Metadata link, navigate into that deployment’s folder, and then into its PROFILES subfolder. Note that each deployment’s folder also contains raw data as collected by the vehicle and an EXPORTED subfolder for data products in Matlab format.

Fig. 1 AUV Deployment in Data Explorer. Inset A: Metadata link to Raw Data Repository to access NetCDF format per deployment in PROFILES subfolder. Inset B: Downloads button provides data products in multiple formats. Credits: Screen grab from Data Explorer ( and Flaticon. Flaticon license: Free for personal and commercial use with attribution.

The software development effort by OOI’s Coastal & Global Scale Nodes (CGSN) Team to publish AUV data into Data Explorer involved OOI’s Cyberinfrastructure Team and Axiom Data Science. This effort builds on earlier work by OOI’s Coastal Endurance Array Team to publish glider data into the IOOS Glider DAC, and subsequently into OOI’s Data Explorer. The existing code base was integrated into a larger framework supporting the input of either glider or AUV data and supporting output formatting compatible with either or both the Glider DAC or Data Explorer.

CGSN maintains two AUV platforms, which are deployed from shipboard as part of at-sea operations in and around OOI mooring sites. The AUVs conduct ~24 hour transects, consisting of multiple profiles of the water column, before being retrieved by the ship for data collection and maintenance. CGSN AUV platforms are fitted out with a variety of instrumentation including CTD, fluorometer, and sensors for photosynthetically active radiation, dissolved oxygen, dissolved nitrate, and current measurement. When applicable, annotations are provided per deployment per instrument in OOI’s OOINet portal and M2M (Machine to Machine) interface; we plan to incorporate these annotations into NetCDF metadata and ultimately into Data Explorer. 

CGSN Team member Diana Wickman (2nd from left) explains how the AUV moves during a deployment, with CGSN Team members Collin Dobson (far left) and Stace Beaulieu (far right) and student researcher Taina Sanchez (2nd from right). Credit: D. Trew Crist © WHOI.

The Data Explorer provides access to all across-shelf and along-shelf AUV deployments at the Coastal Pioneer NES Array from 2016 to 2022.Future AUV transect data at the Coastal Pioneer MAB Array will also be published through Data Explorer as the data become available. As an example for reusability of these data in newly-available formats, a student examined across-shelf patterns in salinity, chlorophyll, and nitrate as part of Northeast U.S. Shelf Long-Term Ecological Research.