WHOI Facilities & Services


WHOI Mooring Operations, Engineering, and Field Support Group

This full-service mooring group has the resources to provide complete, one-stop mooring services, including design and fabrication, coordination of field logistics, and at-sea support for all types of operations. The group includes roughly a dozen engineers and technicians from the WHOI departments of Physical Oceanography and Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, and its members have more than 125 years of collective experience.

Physical Oceanography Observing Laboratory (POOL)

Part of the WHOI Department of Physical Oceanography Department, this lab group was established to establish a pool of shared use instrumentation; to facilitate access to that instrumentation; to develop a support structure to maintain and update the shared use pool; and to improve the ability of the department to support, maintain, and recruit the skilled personnel essential to the use of the instrumentation.

Upper Ocean Processes Group

The primary focus of this research group is the study of physical processes in the upper ocean and at the air-sea interface using moored surface buoys equipped with meteorological and oceanographic sensors. UOP also provides technical support to upper and air-sea interface science programs. The group is available to design new sensors to work with the recently developed, tested and now commercially available Air-Sea Interaction METeorology (ASIMET) sensors for buoys and ships.

Sub-Surface Mooring Operations Group

This group primarily maintains a suite of instrumentation that normally does not penetrate the near-surface layer. They are also responsible for going to sea to deploy and recover these moorings. This includes current, temperature, pressure and conductivity measurements in the deep ocean to full ocean depth. Much of the equipment in this group is available for use through POOL.

WHOI Buoy Group Oceanic Data Archive

The WHOI Buoy Group existed from 1950 through 1999. During that time, surface and subsurface moorings were set around the world, and the data was organized and collected in this site.

Moored Profiler

Invented by WHOI researchers, the Moored Profiler is a newly operational instrument that attaches to a conventional subsurface mooring and travels vertically along the mooring wire to measure the ocean's temperature, salinity, and velocity.

Ocean Mixing Group

This interdisciplinary group began working on the problem of quantifying ocean mixing processes in the 1990s. Understanding the dynamics of ocean mixing is essential for obtaining correct estimates of global ocean circulation, which effect our understanding of phenomena associated with climate change. One of the group?s significant discoveries was that mixing processes are enhanced near areas of rough bathymetry.

Acoustic Communications Group

Acoustic communications and navigation systems provide telemetry, control, and positioning for undersea instrumentation and vehicles. The Acoustic Communications Group at WHOI has been developing and performing research in this area for more than 15 years. Their work focuses on developing new methods and improving existing systems for underwater acoustic communication, particularly underwater modems. The group often collaborates with MIT, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the Navy Surface Warfare Center, University of Washington, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, SAIC, Penn State, and many others.

ONR/MTS Buoy Workshop

Since the 1960s, these workshops have covered the technology of oceanographic, weather, and other buoy systems. Based on a suggestion and support by the Office of Naval Research, buoy workshops have been organized and supported every two years since 1996 to foster communication and exchange between designers, assemblers, operators, and users of buoy systems. The Marine Technology Society and its Buoy Committee provide additional support.

Ocean Systems and Moorings Lab (OSML)

New concepts for buoys, moorings, cable systems, and offshore aquaculture technology are developed at the Ocean Systems and Moorings Laboratory. Computer analysis is used to model the response of buoy mooring systems to wind, waves, and currents. Critical mooring hardware is tested either in the laboratory or at sea in the WHOI "Buoy Farm" located in unprotected waters 25 nm southwest of Woods Hole. Current work includes designing and building coastal mooring systems, trawlproof bottom sensor mounts, and autonomous data buoys. A combination of reinforced custom designed rubber stretch hoses with compliant internal coilcords has also been developed as new hardware. This combination provides a reliable electrical path between a surface buoy and its instrumented mooring tether, eliminating the frequent failure of other approaches.

The Prototype Implementation Group (P.I.G. Lab)

Founded in 1996, P.I.G. lab is a team of engineering consultants who work on everything from production of individual components to complete system design. The members of the group have formal training in Mechanical Desktop, an AutoCAD-based parametric modeling and drafting. Modeling techniques are standardized, and part and assembly models can readily be shared. An emphasis on solid documentation is central to the idea that their product is not merely finished parts, but sound engineering.