COSMOS Activities

WHOI Observatory Systems

Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO)

The MVCO is a research observatory located at South Beach and in the ocean a mile off the south shore of Martha's Vineyard. It provides real time and archived coastal oceanographic and meteorological data for researchers, students and the general public.

Palmer Station TSG Observatory

Real-time thermosaligraph data from Palmer station in the Antarctic. This mini-observatory effort is in preparation for the Polar Remote Interactive Marine Observatory (PRIMO) scheduled to be deployed in 2006 approximately 3 miles south of Palmer Station, Antarctica in 130m of water. The TSG system transmits real-time UDP data every 10 seconds and displays a series of live webcam images from a pan&tilt camera.

Panama LJL Underwater Tropical Observatory (PLUTO)

The Panama Liguid Jungle Underwater Tropical Observatory (PLUTO) is a 1.3km fiber-optic cabled observatory deployed in January 2006 in approximately 18m of water. The observatory consists of sensors for salinity, temperature, pressure, water current speed and direction, chlorophyll, turbidity, oxygen, down-welling light at two depths, array of temperature sensors, and an underwater camera. The data are sent from the node via the underwater fiber-optic cable to the shore station at LJL, where the system is monitored and controlled. The data are also distributed via satellite back to WHOI and made available on the web.

Collaborative Observatory Systems

Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI)

The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is an advanced system of integrated, scientific platforms and sensors commissioned in 2016 that measure physical, chemical, geological, and biological properties and processes from the seafloor to the sea surface in key coastal and open-ocean sites of the Atlantic and Pacific. The facility was designed to address critical questions about the Earth-ocean system, including climate change, ecosystem variability, ocean acidification, plate-scale seismicity and submarine volcanoes, and carbon cycling with the goal of better understanding the ocean and our planet. In September 2018, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it had awarded a coalition of academic and oceanographic research organizations a five-year, $220 million contract to operate and maintain the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The coalition, led by WHOI with direction from the NSF and guidance from the OOI Facilities Board, includes the University of Washington (UW), Oregon State University (OSU), and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Additional Information

Observatory, Mooring & Buoy Information

Links to additional WHOI information about about observatories, moorings, and buoys.

Popular Science Writing

Stories about ocean observatories from Oceanus magazine and other media.