The Ocean Observatories Initiative is made up of five major research components in the North and South Atlantic and Pacific: the Cabled Array and its two sub-arrays – Cabled Axial Seamount and Cabled Continental Margin – on the Juan de Fuca plate; the Coastal Endurance Array off the coast of Oregon and Washington; the Coastal Pioneer Array off the coast of New England; the Global Irminger Sea Array off the coast of Greenland; and Global Station Papa in the Gulf of Alaska. Each array is composed of fixed and mobile platforms. Array locations and configuration were designed based on input from the scientific community to focus data collection aimed at specific regional and global science questions.


A site is a specific geographic location within an array that is the deployment area for one or more platforms. Each site has a defined depth range and a Latitude-Longitude defined zone within which instrument platforms are deployed for defined periods of time.


A platform is a set of infrastructure that hosts a complement of integrated scientific instruments. A platform can be stable and fixed in place (e.g. a surface mooring) or mobile (e.g. a profiler mooring which has a component that moves up and down in the water column, or a glider which is free to move in 3 dimensions). Each platform can contain multiple “nodes” to which the instruments are attached, and a means of transmitting the data from the integrated instruments to shore. See “Platform Types” entries below for more details on specific platforms within the OOI.


A node is a section of a platform that contains one or more computers and power converters. Instruments on a platform are plugged into a node, which collects the instrument data internally and/or transmit the data externally. Some platforms contain a single node, like a glider. Other platforms have several nodes wired together. For example, a mooring that hosts a surface buoy, near-surface instrument frame, and seafloor multi-function node, each with a different set of instruments attached.


A scientific instrument is a piece of specialized equipment used to sample oceanographic attributes and collect data. There are 36 unique models of specialized instrumentation used throughout the OOI (800 total instruments deployed at any one time) that collect over 200 unique data products (>100,000 total science and engineering data products).


A sensor is the specific part of an instrument that measures a specific element of the surrounding environment. A single instrument can contain multiple sensors that are used to collect data on various environmental attributes, for example, a CTD is an instrument that contains specific sensors to measure conductivity, temperature, and pressure.



Datasets as they are received from the instrument/sensor. Because some platforms process data internally, OOI raw data may contain multiple L0, L1, or L2 data products, data from multiple sensors, and be in native sensor units. Raw data are always persisted and archived by the OOI. Example: format 0 binary file from an SBE-37IM on a Global Flanking Mooring.


Raw data are read and separated by system code (aka “parsers”) into data streams (science, engineering, metadata, etc.) based on content. Each stream contains multiple parameters, including a time stamp. A single instrument can produce several data streams with many different parameters within them.


Science parameters produced by the OOI to meet the defined science requirements. There are multiple levels of data products produced, depending on the level of algorithm processing and whether multiple data streams are used to produce the product. Science parameters are processed (and combined) via additional algorithm code to produce L1 and L2 data products. If an algorithm combines data streams from multiple instruments to produce an L2 product, data from all of the instruments used are provided during download.


There are many parameters (>100,000) collected by OOI instruments that are used for safety and engineering purposes only (e.g. battery voltage, internal housing temperature, leak detect, etc.), and a select few (~200, termed “Core Data Products”) that are the main science output of the OOI. All core data products are parameters, but not all parameters are core data products.


An unprocessed, parsed data product that is in native instrument/sensor units and resolution. Data products are produced sensor by sensor (unpacked and/or de-interleaved) and available in OOI supported formats (i.e. NetCDF, .csv, and JSON). The parsed L0 data are always stored and archived by the OOI. Example: SBE-37IM CTD Temperature portion of the hex string.


A parameter that is calibrated using vendor-provided values or values derived from pre-deployment procedures, and that is in scientific units. Quality Control (QC) is applied at this level, utilizing simple automated techniques and human inspection. Actions to transform Level 0 to Level 1 data are captured and presented in the metadata of the Level 1 data. Example: SBE-37IM CTD Temperature converted from hex to binary and scaled to produce degrees C.


A derived data product created via an algorithm that draws on multiple L1 data products. Products may come from the same or from separate instruments. Example: SBE-37IM CTD Density is derived from L1 CTD data products including Temperature, Salinity and Pressure.


Data received through a wireless transmission over distance while the instrument is deployed. Examples are: surface buoy to satellite, glider to satellite, acoustic modem. Data received through satellite relay or other mechanisms results in “batch” receipt and may be decimated in time. These data have greater latencies than the streaming data.


Data downloaded directly from a recovered instrument or data logger after the instrument has been recovered. Data are downloaded either by connecting the instrument to a computer and writing to files, often onboard the recovery vessel. “Recovered-Host” data are downloaded from a computer that logs data from a set of attached instruments, after the platform has been recovered, while “Recovered-Instrument” data are recovered directly from an instrument’s internal storage, after the instrument has been recovered.


Data received via transmission over electro-optical cable. These include platforms connected to the Cabled Array as well as cabled portions of the Endurance Array. Streaming data are provided in near-real time and at full temporal resolution.


Any data from ship-mounted instruments as well as analyzed water samples collected during deployment/recovery expeditions. CTD casts are performed prior to deployment and following recovery of most OOI assets (glider deployments may involve a single reference CTD cast). Water samples are collected in Niskin bottles at multiple depths, and analyzed for oxygen (Winkler), chlorophyll-a fluorescence & pigment distribution, nitrate/nitrite (and potentially a full nutrient suite), total DIC & total alkalinity, pH, and salinity. Underway data and documentation from UNOLS vessels used during maintenance cruises can be found at the Rolling Deck to Repository (R2R) site, while documentation from each cruise, including the cruise plans, manifests, equipment lists, description of events, and full cruise reports can be found in the OOI document management system.



Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are propeller-driven mobile assets. The underwater flight pattern of the AUV can be controlled from shore, making these robots well suited for sampling rapidly changing conditions. They have more ability to move against underwater currents than a glider, but also consume more battery power restricting them to a shorter deployment period.


The Cabled Benthic Experiment Package (BEP) is a type of cabled infrastructure, specifically deployed along the shallow continental shelf. BEPs host a number of instruments contained within a protective external covering and connected to a Junction Box to receive power as well as transmit data and communications.


Flanking Subsurface Moorings are located at global sites and contain instruments fixed at specific depths along a mooring riser. The flotation buoy for subsurface moorings is located below the sea surface. As they have no surface expression, these moorings communicate and send data to shore via an acoustic link to nearby gliders.


Gliders are buoyancy-driven mobile assets. They change their buoyancy by drawing in water through their nose, making their front end heavy and causing them to sink through the water. To float back up to the surface, a motor pushes the water out. Their wings provide lift allowing the gliders to move forward as they change depth. Due to their efficient design, with no need for propellers or an engine, gliders can be deployed for several months at a time.


Profiler Moorings are a type of mooring that contain instruments fixed to profilers that move up and down the water column. Profilers either track along the mooring riser (wire-following profilers), or are tethered to a mooring-mounted winch that pays out line allowing the profiler to move through the water (shallow profilers & surface piercing profilers). Instruments may also be attached to the mooring riser or affixed to an underwater platform on these moorings.


A Surface Mooring is a type of mooring that contains a surface buoy floating on the sea surface and instruments located at fixed depths through the water column. The surface buoy provides a platform on which to secure surface instruments, allowing for the collection of data in the air and in the water, as well as an antenna to transmit data to shore via satellite.


A Surface Piercing Profiler Mooring is a mooring that contains a surface piercing profiler. The surface piercing profiler allows for the sampling of near surface phenomena as the profiler travels through the water and breaches the surface. While on the surface, the profiler is able to transmit data to shore.



The Interface Controller is found on the 200-meter platform of the Cabled Shallow Profiler Mooring. It supplies power to and handles command and control of instruments on the platform. It also provides power and communication to the Profiler Controller which controls the shallow profiler winch and science pod.


A Junction Box (JBox) rests on the seafloor and is connected to shore via a series of fiber optic cables. Several instruments can be attached to a single Jbox and Jboxes can be connected to each other. Jboxes draw energy from the cables to power instruments and to transmit data from the instruments back to shore. In this way, Jboxes act like both a power strip and a converter. The OOI employs three kinds of Jboxes: Low Voltage (LV) Node, Low-Power (LP) Jbox, and Medium Power (MP) JBox. LV Nodes convert high power from the primary node to a lower power that can then be distributed to LP or MP Jboxes and cabled moorings. LV Nodes cannot directly connect to instruments. LP Jboxes directly connect to instruments and receive power from LV Nodes. LP Jboxes convert power from LV Nodes into the appropriate power for their associated instruments. The MP Jbox can draw power from either a Primary Node or a LV Node as well as connect directly to instruments and other Jboxes. The MP Jbox converts high power from the primary node to a lower, medium-level power that that can then be distributed to other nodes.


A Mooring Riser is the cable (or chain) that connects the buoy to the anchor on a mooring. Instruments can be affixed to the mooring riser at fixed depths, or a wire-following profiler can track along the mooring riser traveling up and down in the water column. Mooring Risers can also be inductive cables, which allows instruments attached to them to transfer data up the mooring riser to the data logger in the surface buoy.


Seafloor Multi-Function Nodes (MFN) are found at the base of some surface moorings and act both as an anchor as well as a platform to affix instruments.


The Near-Surface Instrument Frame (or NSIF) is an instrumented cage suspended below a surface mooring (7m for Coastal moorings, 12m for Global moorings). The NSIF contains subsurface oceanographic instruments attached to multiple data concentrator logger (DCL) computers.


Primary Nodes are connected to the land-based shore station in Pacific City, Oregon via fiber-optic cables. They convert high power from the shore station to a lower power and distribute that power and communication to junction boxes along the Juan de Fuca Plate through their science ports. Primary Nodes also receive data and communications from the junction boxes which they transmit back to shore.


A Profiler is a structure that moves through the water column carrying instruments, that sample across the profiler’s depth range. Profilers either track along the mooring riser (wire-following profilers), or are tethered to a mooring-mounted winch that pays out line allowing the profiler to rises through the water column until fixed depth (shallow profilers & surface piercing profilers).


The Profiler Controller operates the shallow profiler winch on the Cabled Shallow Profiler Mooring. It provides power and communication to the winch and instruments on the science pod, which is the portion of the Cabled Shallow Profiler that moves up and down in the water column.


The Profiler Dock is at the base of the Cabled Deep Profiler Mooring. It plugs into the seafloor fiber-optic cable at the base of the mooring and provides power and communications for the wire-following profiler attached to the mooring.


Submerged Buoys are located below the sea surface and provide flotation for the mooring riser. Additionally, these buoys can provide a platform to affix instruments.


A Surface Buoy is a type of buoy that floats on the sea surface providing buoyancy to support the mooring riser. Additionally, the surface buoy provides a platform for mounting atmospheric and ocean surface instruments and houses equipment for power generation and storage, data aggregation and recording, and two-way telemetry and GPS location. All surface moorings contain a surface buoy.


A Surface Piercing Profiler is a type of profiler that is tethered to a mooring-mounted winch at a fixed depth in the water column. As the winch pays out cable, the surface piercing profiler rises through the water column until the profiler pierces the sea surface. Instruments are affixed to the surface piercing profiler, allowing for the measurement of ocean processes at the thin surface layer.


A Wire-Following Profiler is a type of profiler that attaches to and moves along the mooring riser over a designated depth interval. Instruments are affixed to the wire-following profiler, allowing for sampling sub-surface ocean characteristics.



The system used by Cyberinfrastructure to organize and archive deployment, calibration, and lifecycle management (purchasing, storage, and refurbishment status) of instruments, platforms, and platform components (aka “Assets”) acquired and maintained by the OOI Implementing Organizations (IOs). The Asset Management information is accessible via the Data Portal, and links data products to the instruments that produce them, as well as supplying metadata about where, when, and how the data were produced.


A .csv file containing vendor or user-derived calibration information for instruments being deployed on a new platform. The calibration sheet filenames are formed from the sensor UID (unique ID number) and calibration date and are contained within folders named according to the instruments’ class and series. Once entered into the database, the calibration sheet is archived and the database becomes the gold standard. Eventually calibration values will be able to be entered and edited via the GUI, although the system will continue to support entry via sheets. Required calibration parameters for an instrument can be found in Confluence, the DPS documentation, and the preload database. The sheets are located here:


The implementing organization responsible for OOI software, computing hardware, and data lifecycle and data quality management.


A .csv file that lists all OOI cruises with a specific start/end date and ship name.

Found here


The act of putting infrastructure in the water, or the length of time between a platform going in the water and being recovered and brought back to shore.


A set of .csv files organized by platform, showing which instruments are integrated on the platform for each deployment, deployment and recovery cruises, start and end dates, deployment location, instrument deployment depths, and water depths.

Found here


Configuration managed Git repository hosted at Rutgers. Current GitHub repositories are being backed up on Gerrit, and uploads may migrate to that service.


An open-source web-based Git repository hosting service, used for configuration management of the various information sheets and project code prior to ingestion into the production system. There are several repositories used in this process, separated by overall topic. A desktop client is available, in addition to the web page.


Graphical User Interface, e.g. the OOI Data Portal.


Subcontractors responsible for construction and development of the different components of the OOI program.


A set of .csv files used to indicate file pathways to locate data from a deployed platform on the OMC server. Telemetered and Recovered data have separate ingestion sheets.

Found here


The organizations that assemble, maintain, deploy, and recover the marine instrumentation and infrastructure that compose the at-sea portions of OOI.


Operations and Management Component, the set of equipment and software (including the data server) at each MIO that is the initial storage location for telemetered and recovered data, from where they are transferred to a repository at Rutgers CI.


The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is funded by the National Science Foundation and is managed and coordinated by the OOI Program Management Office (PMO) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), in Woods Hole, MA. WHOI is leader, owner, and operator of the OOI and its infrastructure, and is responsible for the Coastal Pioneer Array and three Global Arrays, including all associated vehicles. Oregon State University is responsible for the Coastal Endurance Array and the Cyberinfrastructure component (OOI’s National Data Center). The University of Washington is responsible for cabled seafloor systems and moorings.


The OOI instance of the Redmine project management web application ( used to track work tasks and as an informational archive of work completed.


The Ocean Observatories Initiative uses a reference designator to identify a particular instrument that has been deployed as part of a site. The format of a reference designator is:


For example:


is translated as:

  • CP02PMCI: Coastal Pioneer Central Inshore Profiling Mooring
  • WFP01: Wire Following Profiler Number 1
  • 03: Port 3 on the WFP node
  • CTDPFK000: Profiling Conductivity, Temperature, Depth Instrument, Series K (Sea-Bird SBE 52MP), instrument number 000

For a full list of OOI reference designator codes, go here.


Unique ID number, used to identify a specific asset (platform, node, instrument, etc.) in the Asset Management system (and to name Calibration Sheets). The descriptive UID is created using a defined naming scheme by the MIO responsible for the asset.