Cyberinfrastructure for the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative

Orcutt, JA, Vernon FL, Arrott M, Chave A, Schofield O, Peach C, Krueger I, Meisinger M.  2007.  Cyberinfrastructure for the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative. ( Orcutt JA, Ed.).: American Geophysical Union


ASFA 2: Ocean Technology Policy & Non-Living Resources, M2 551.468:Coastal Oceanography (551.468), marine, Meteorological & Geoastrophysical Abstracts, Q2 02261:General


The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is an environmental observatory covering a diversity of oceanic environments, ranging from the coastal to the deep ocean. The physical infrastructure comprises a combination of seafloor cables, buoys and autonomous vehicles. It is currently in the final design phase, with construction planned to begin in mid-2010 and deployment phased over five years. The Consortium for Ocean Leadership manages this Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction program with subcontracts to Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of Washington and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. High-level requirements for the CI include the delivery of near-real-time data with minimal latencies, open data, data analysis and data assimilation into models, and subsequent interactive modification of the network (including autonomous vehicles) by the cyberinfrastructure. Network connections include a heterogeneous combination of fiber optics, acoustic modems, and Iridium satellite telemetry. The cyberinfrastructure design loosely couples services that exist throughout the network and share common software and middleware as necessary. In this sense, the system appears to be identical at all scales, so it is self-similar or fractal by design. The system provides near-real-time access to data and developed knowledge by the OOI's Education and Public Engagement program, to the physical infrastructure by the marine operators and to the larger community including scientists, the public, schools and decision makers. Social networking is employed to facilitate the virtual organization that builds, operates and maintains the OOI as well as providing a variety of interfaces to the data and knowledge generated by the program. We are working closely with NOAA to exchange near-real-time data through interfaces to their Data Interchange Facility (DIF) program within the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). Efficiencies have been emphasized through the use of university and commercial computing clouds.