WHOI Mooring Facilities & Services

Formerly "WHOI Buoy Operations"


Risk Management

Management of risk is a topical question as the cost of over-the-side insurance has become prohibitive. After discussion with NSF program managers, we have instituted a system of self-insurance against loss or damage. Under this protocol, borrowers of shared-use instrumentation are encouraged to discuss and establish a repair/replacement procedure with their program managers and the WHOI Buoy Operations team before fieldwork begins as contingency against equipment loss or damage during the course of their field program.

Since 1960, scientists, engineers, and technicians at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have made nearly 1,500 deployments and countless technical and procedural advances in mooring hardware and instrumentation. Today, WHOI Buoy Operations coordinates the responses to support requests made to one or more of three task-specific sub-units. These include the Mooring Operation and Engineering (MOE) Group, the Mooring Fabrication and Field Support Group (Mooring Lab), and the Field Instrumentation & eXperiment Implementation Team (FIXIT).

Potential users are invited to contact individual units directly (see links below) or the operations coordinators to discuss their needs. WHOI Buoy Operations team members help develop an operational plan and cost estimate for a project, which then become part of a user’s funding proposal. Following established protocol, all instrumentation obtained under previous NSF funding is made available to the U.S. research community with first priority given to projects funded by the NSF. In the event of scheduling conflicts among NSF-funded projects, priority will be given to the earliest request received, but only after discussion with principal investigators to resolve potential conflict. Investigators developing proposals to other funding agencies are also welcome to discuss their plans with the WHOI Buoy Operations team.

Field Instrumentation and eXperiment Implementation Team (formerly SSMOG)

The primary task of the group is to maintain and supply moored instruments and the data derived from them to scientists both inside and outside WHOI and. The majority of instruments provided under the WHOI POOL (Physical Oceanography Observing Laboratories) are curated by the group.

Mooring Fabrication and Field Support Group (Mooring Lab)

The Mooring Lab provides a full range of mooring fabrication services and collectively brings more than 50 years of experience to the oceanographic community worldwide. The broad range of services offered by the Mooring Lab includes surface and subsurface mooring fabrication, as well as a large inventory of resources for loan, including mooring winches, air tuggers, and many other mooring-related items.

Mooring Operations and Engineering Group

The Mooring Operations and Engineering Group at the Woods hole Oceanographic institution is a specialized team of personnel that custom designs and builds, as well as deploys and recovers, advanced research mooring systems. The group works year-round from the Southern Ocean to the Arctic sea ice.