In December 2009 the Canadian North-East Pacific Time-series Undersea Networked Experiments (NEPTUNE) system went live at four ocean sites on the Juan de Fuca plate.
Ocean observing systems offers unprecedented opportunities for all researchers involved in the ocean and earth sciences. The real-time interactive design of NEPTUNE Canada will give scientists the ability to respond to rare oceanic events, observe ocean change over decades, and adjust experiments and sampling over time, all via the Internet.
Many ocean observing systems are being commissioned in Europe, Asia and in the Americas.
This web page offers a good review of the Ocean Observing Systems
Last December, the first data transmissions were observed on the NEPTUNE Canada observatory. Four months later, over 267,000 data files occupying more than 4.4 Terabytes contain raw data, complex data and recordings from streaming instruments. The Bottom Pressure Recorder (BPR) at Barkley Canyon was the most prolific, recording over 10 million samples. In addition to the growing data, the total number of registered users rose from 220 in January to 5,781 at the end of March.
While NEPTUNE Canada is “putting the pedal to the metal” in its opening lap, VENUS has shown steady performance over the past 4 years in Saainch Inlet and 2 years in the Strait of Georgia. Two successful maintenance cruises were accomplished over the past year (Figure 4). VENUS is now looking to extend its research footprint to the water surface and encompass greater experimentation capacity to a wider region without the installation of additional cables.
OOI Regional Scale Node (RSN)
The concept of a regional cabled ocean observatory – a system that would provide continuous high power and interactive real-time high-bandwidth data transfer to and from shore – began to be seriously explored by scientists at the University of Washington (UW) in the mid 1990s. The original NEPTUNE concept was nurtured and developed at UW, a vision based upon decades of experience in at-sea research in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. Subsequently, this past year, through its Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), the NSF awarded the implementation of the deepwater Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) to UW. The shallow-water, cabled coastal sites off the Oregon coast will be shared by the UW and Oregon State University.
The Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA), based in Fort Pierce, Florida, installed a beta test array of 9 Kilroy Water Monitoring Units (http://www.teamorca.org/cfiles/kilroy.cfm) on the Eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in April. ORCA’s Kilroys are a wireless network of remote semi-autonomous aquatic sensor systems. A central supervisory system directs operations of the remote systems, collects data and relays that via the Internet to a geospatial database.
First results from ANTARES (Astronomy with a Neutrino Telescope and Abyss environmental RESearch project), a neutrino telescope residing in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Toulon, France (Figure 1), have recently been published (http://iopscience.iop.org /1742-6596/203/1/012122).
CYCOFOS – TWERC Cyprus
Last year’s ON&T update reported on CYCOFOS (Cyprus Coastal Forecasting and Observing System), the buoy-powered ocean observatory that has been operating off the southern coast of Cyprus for the past five years. This observatory is currently undergoing an extensive expansion which, when complete, will result in the prototype Tsunami Warning and Early Response System for Cyprus (TWERC).
DONET – Japan
As forecasted in last year’s ON&T update, NEC Corporation deployed the Dense Oceanfloor Network System for Earthquakes and Tsunamis (DONET) for Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) in April this year. DONET measurements are delivered in real-time, 24/7 via the submarine cable’s optical fiber. Data is first sent to a ground-based station in Mie where it is then relayed for analysis to institutions that include the Japan Meteorological Agency, the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) and a range of universities. These observations are expected to make valuable contributions to the speed and accuracy of earthquake and tsunami warnings as well as the improvement of earthquake prediction models.
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