The operational instrumentation activities within the Physical Oceanography department are coordinated under an umbrella group known as Physical Oceanography Observational Laboratories (POOL).
This group conducts exploratory, interdisciplinary ocean research using autonomous systems to describe and quantify complex oceanic processes which occur on time and space scales inaccessible with traditional tools.
The WHOI Float Group prepares floats for use and processes the data that the scientists interpret to assess the impact of the oceans on our ever changing planet. This information can be used to predict global warming as well as effects on marine life.
The Mooring Operations, Engineering, and Field Support Group is a full-service mooring group comprised of personnel from both the Department of Physical Oceanography, the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department. This group has the resources to provide complete, one-stop mooring services, including not only design and mooring fabrication, but also the coordination of logistics and at-sea support for all types of operations.
The ocean mixing group at WHOI started working on the problem of quantifying ocean mixing processes more than a decade ago. First a deep ocean capable instrument was designed, constructed and tested. After proving a success, it became the workhorse of the group, and has been used in eight major research programs.
The purpose of the Remote Sensing Analysis Group is to facilitate the use of multi-sensor satellite measurements for oceanographic research.
The SeaSoar, manufactured by Chelsea Instruments, Ltd., is a towed vehicle equipped with impeller-forced wings that can be rotated to allow the vehicle to undulate in the upper ocean.
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.
The primary focus of the Upper Ocean Processes Group is the study of the upper oceans and air-sea interface using moored surface buoys equipped with meteorological and underwater sensors.
The Arctic Ocean is an important component of the global climate system. Processes occurring in the Arctic Ocean affect the rate of deep and bottom water formation in the convective regions of the North Atlantic and influence ocean circulation across the globe. WHOI?s PO scientists are involved in Arctic climate research, investigations of the water and ice circulation, and process studies including mixing, eddy generation, shelf-basin exchange mechanisms, sea level variability, and many others.
The Argo observational network consists of a fleet of 3000+ profiling autonomous floats deployed by about a dozen teams worldwide.
The WOCE Subsurface Float Data Assembly Center includes historical and WOCE era freely-drifting float data from 1972 through the year 2000. The data can be obtained via the Internet. Plots and background information are also available.