Conference Paper

The National Science Foundation's Ocean Observatory Initiative: an interactive ocean observatory network to advance ocean research

Div. of Ocean Sci., National Sci. Found.
DOI: 10.1109/OCEANS.2004.1406478 Conference: OCEANS '04. MTTS/IEEE TECHNO-OCEAN '04, Volume: 4
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT Sustained ocean observing systems hold the promise of revolutionizing ocean science within this decade. Enabled by technological advances and made timely by societal need, a wide range of ocean and Earth observing systems are being planned, proposed, deployed and operated within the U.S. These systems emphasize real-time datasets for event response and adaptive sampling, well-sampled spatial and temporal contexts for limited duration or process-study experiments, and sustained operation to observe long-term trends and capture rare episodic events. Rapidly expanding observation and modeling capabilities will enable scientists to consider an entirely new set of interdisciplinary science questions which can then be used to guide and prioritize implementation strategies for upgrading existing, and deploying new observatories. The National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Science has established the Ocean Research Interactive Observatory Networks (ORION) Program to operate and manage existing and future ocean observing sites funded by NSF some of which will be constructed using funds from the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) MREFC request. The OOI is an integrated observatory with three elements: 1) a regional cabled network consisting of interconnected sites on the seafloor spanning several geological and oceanographic features and processes, 2) relocatable deep-sea buoys that could also be deployed in harsh environments such as the Southern Ocean, and 3) new construction or enhancements to existing facilities leading to an expanded network of coastal observatories. The ORION Program will also coordinate the science driving the construction of this research observing network as well as operation and maintenance of the infrastructure; development of instrumentation and mobile platforms and their incorporation into the observatory network; and planning, coordination, and implementation of educational and public outreach activities. The ORION program will be the-
most complex initiative that ocean scientists have undertaken within the U.S. and it will revolutionize the way that oceanographers study the sea

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