A Profiler is a tethered vehicle that moves through the water column carrying instruments, which can sample parameters across a depth range. Profilers either track along the mooring riser (wire-following profilers), or include a winch that pays out line allowing the profiler to rise through the water column until a fixed depth (e.g. RCA Shallow Profilers).

Profilers
Source: Center for Environmental Visualization, University of Washington

Profilers are used throughout the OOI on moorings, enabling the sampling of water column parameters at a high vertical resolution:

Global Profiler Mooring

Global Profiler Moorings are located at the Apex site of the triangular Global Irminger Sea and Station Papa Arrays next to the Apex Surface Moorings and contain one or two Wire-Following Profilers. The Wire-Following Profiler moves through the water column along the mooring riser, continuously sampling ocean characteristics over a specified depth interval.

Cabled Deep Profiler Mooring

Cabled Deep Profiler Moorings are attached to a fiber-optic cable and host an instrumented modified Mclane Wire-Following Profiler that travels from up to ~ 2900 meters water depth (Slope Base) to ~125 meters  beneath the ocean’s surface. Each profiler hosts up to six instruments. Each Deep Profiler mooring is paired with a Shallow Profiler mooring (see below). Data are downloaded in real-time by way of a WiFi and subsequent to completion of a tow-way profile via an inductive link at the base of the mooring during recharging of vehicle batteries. Fiber-optic cable provides the mooring with a large supply of power and bandwidth and is co-located with a Low-Power Jbox that collects complementary seafloor data.

Cabled Shallow Profiler Mooring

Attached to fiber optic cables, two-legged Shallow Profiler Moorings are high-power (3 kW) and bandwidth (1 GigE) water column moorings with a broad suite of engineering and science-focused sensors.They each host a 12 ft across, 7,000 lb platform ~ 200 meters beneath the ocean’s surface: 200 watts power is provided to the instruments. The platform hosts an instrumented Platform Interface Assembly (including up to eight science instruments) and an instrumented winched Shallow Profiler Pod, which houses up to 10 science instruments and is tethered to a mooring-mounted winch that pays out fiber optic cable allowing the science pod to rise through the water column until a fixed depth (~5 m below the sea surface to 200 meters deep). 

Two way, real-time communication allows powerful adaptive sampling capabilities that include pausing of instrument packages in the water column at specific chemical-temperature-biological layers. Each mooring has expansion capabilities for additional instrumentation. Each Shallow Profiler Mooring is paired with a Deep Profiler mooring to span depths just above the seafloor to ~ 5 m beneath the ocean’s surface.

Coastal Profiler Mooring

Coastal Profiler Moorings are located on the Coastal Pioneer and Endurance Arrays and contain a Wire-Following Profiler that houses instruments.The Wire-Following Profiler moves through the water column along the mooring riser, continuously sampling ocean characteristics over a specified depth interval (20 meters below sea surface to 20 meters above the bottom).

Surface Piercing Profiler Moorings

Surface Piercing Profiler Moorings contain a Surface-Piercing Profiler that allows for the sampling of near surface phenomena as the Profiler travels through the water, controlled by a profiler-mounted winch, then breaches the surface. Fine resolution sampling of the water column, particularly at the very surface of the water, provides key insights into the exchange of gases, heat, and other substances between the atmosphere and the ocean. The profilers transmit data to shore while on the surface.