Design, construction, and early operation of the OOI Cabled Array, located off the coast of Oregon and Washington, has been led and implemented primarily by oceanographers and engineers at University of Washington. At-sea construction was completed between 2011 to 2014.
More than 100 instruments and moorings are now directly connected to land-based communications via the Cabled Array's 975-km network of primary and secondary cables, which provide high-power capabilities of 8–10kW and communications bandwidth of 10 Gbs. Data are flowing from most of the instruments deployed on the system.
Annual maintenance cruises will refurbish and service the cabled network for the coming decades as scientists, educators, and the public learn to use this novel capability of being present throughout entire volumes of the ocean, without actually being there. The sensor-robot systems can be operated from land, cameras provide visual contact with actual processes unfolding offshore, and, as the approach matures, complex experiments will be conducted using remotely operated robotic-sensor systems controllable from land.
A low-frequency hydrophone (black tubular-shaped instrument in tripod with red legs), connected to a broadband seismometer, awaits installation by the Remotely Operated Vehicle ROPOS that will install this sensor in the International District 2 Site. Sand/gravel bags in the background will be piled over the broadband to dampen any noise by local currents. Photo credit: Mitch Elend, University of Washington, V14.×
On July 20, the medium-powere junction box MJ03C was installed in the International District hydrothermal vent field on ROPOS Dive R1717. It was connected to a ~2300-m-long cable (RSO3W6) that will connect this system to Primary Node PN3B. A temperature-resistivty sensor (TRHPHA301) is inside the J-Box, awaiting installation during a follow-on dive. Photo credit: NSF-OOI/UW/CSSF; Dive 1717; V14.×