Gearing up for ocean observatories

Pioneer array schematic

Nearly a decade of community planning has gone into the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), to be reviewed this month by the National Science Foundation. Among the innovative elements of the OOI is the Pioneer Array, shown schematically above, which is one of the Coastal Scale Nodes of the OOI. WHOI's role in OOI includes implementation of Coastal and Global Scale Nodes.  Located at the Middle Atlantic Bight, the Pioneer Array will collect data from the water’s surface to the bottom sediments over long periods of time using a combination of surface moorings, moored profilers, gliders, and other autonomous underwater vehicles. The data, which will help researchers monitor and understand such issues as climate change, the health of the oceans, and biodiversity, will be fed into a centralized cyberinfrastructure and shared with researchers, policymakers, and the public. (Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)