October 5, 2020
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Oregon State University (OSU) jointly announced that OSU will assume responsibilities for the systems management of the cyberinfrastructure that makes data transmission for the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) possible through September of 2023. OSU was awarded this role after a systematic and thorough selection process. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, has provided OOI’s Cyberinfrastructure systems management since 2014, and will leave the OOI Program in 2021 following a transition period with OSU.
The OOI consists of five instrumented observatories in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans outfitted with more than 800 instruments that continually collect and deliver data to shore via a cyberinfrastructure, which makes the data available to anyone with an Internet connection. The demands on the cyberinfrastructure are great, as it stores 73 billion rows of data, and has provided 36 terabytes of data in response to 189 million user requests since 2014. With the data requests and delivery demands increasing each year, the OOI has the capability to provide data that allows inquiries into episodic ecosystem events in real-time, as well as investigations using long-term time series data. The OOI is made possible through a funded five-year cooperative agreement to WHOI from the National Science Foundation. The OSU award is for $6 million over a three-year period.
“We are delighted that OSU has the capabilities and expertise to take on this hugely important task,” says John Trowbridge, Principal Investigator of the Program Management Office of the OOI at WHOI. “The OOI has become a dependable source of real-time ocean data, helping scientists answer pressing questions about the changing ocean. Educators use real-time ocean data to teach students about the fundamentals of oceanography, the global carbon cycle, climate variability, and other important topics. The team at OSU will help advance this work and ensure that OOI data are served reliably to an ever-growing audience.
“We are also extremely grateful to the Rutgers team for the excellent foundation they established over the past six years that will allow a seamless transition to the OSU cyberinfrastructure team. Rutgers was an important partner that helped establish OOI as a reliable data provider,” adds Trowbridge.
“OSU brings the perfect mix of hardware, software, and ocean data experts to ensure that we are able to store and serve up this gargantuan amount of important ocean data,” adds Anthony Koppers, Principal Investigator for the OSU Cyberinfrastructure Systems Team. “We have the key personnel and systems in place that will allow us to seamlessly take on the challenge of storing and serving OOI data, strategically planning for future data demands and implementing cybersecurity. We also will be working hand-in-hand with the OOI’s Data Management Team to ensure the data meets the highest quality standards.”
OSU’s cyberinfrastructure will handle telemetered, recovered, and streaming data. Telemetered data are delivered to the cyberinfrastructure from moorings and gliders using remote access such as satellites. Recovered data are complete datasets that are retrieved and uploaded to the cyberinfrastructure once an ocean observing platform is recovered from the field. Streaming data are delivered in real time directly from instruments in the field.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate an understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. WHOI’s pioneering discoveries stem from an ideal combination of science and engineering—one that has made it one of the most trusted and technically advanced leaders in basic and applied ocean research and exploration anywhere. WHOI is known for its multidisciplinary approach, superior ship operations, and unparalleled deep-sea robotics capabilities. We play a leading role in ocean observation, and operate the most extensive suite of data-gathering platforms in the world. Top scientists, engineers, and students collaborate on more than 800 concurrent projects worldwide—both above and below the waves—pushing the boundaries of knowledge and possibility. For more information, please visit www.whoi.edu