Friday, November 06, 2009


NSF Launches Ocean Observatories Initiative

Credit: Jack Cook, WHOIThe National Science Foundation has announced agreement for vast undersea observing network. Called the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) it will provide a network of undersea sensors for observing complex ocean processes such as climate variability, ocean circulation and ocean acidification at several coastal, open-ocean and seafloor locations.

Continuous data flow from hundreds of OOI sensors will be integrated by a sophisticated computing network, and will be openly available to scientists, policy makers, students and the public.

Advanced ocean research and sensor tools are a significant improvement over past techniques. Remotely operated and autonomous vehicles go deeper and perform longer than submarines. Underwater samplers do in minutes what once took hours in a lab. Telecommunications cables link experiments directly to office computers on land. At sea, satellite uplinks shuttle buoy data at increasing speeds.

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