‘Bringing the Ocean to the World’ – Hi-Tech Subsea Research

Sea Floor Marine Life

The University of Washington is embarking on “…a NASA-scale mission to basically enter the Inner Space, and to be there perpetually. What we’re doing is bringing the ocean to the world.” said professor John Delaney. “This is a mission to Planet Ocean”

Today the New York Times published an interesting article on John Delaney’s work. Here are a few snippets:

Under a $331 million program long dreamed of by oceanographers and being financed by the National Science Foundation, Professor Delaney and a team of scientists from several other institutions are leading the new Ocean Observatories Initiative, a multifaceted effort to study the ocean — in the ocean — through a combination of Internet-linked cables, buoys atop submerged data collection devices, robots and high-definition cameras. The first equipment is expected to be in place by 2009.

A central goal, say those involved, is to better understand how oceans affect life on land, including their role in storing carbon and in climate change; the causes of tsunamis; the future of fish populations; and the effect of ocean temperature on growing seasons. Oceanographers also hope to engage other scientists and the public more deeply with ocean issues by making them more immediate. Instead of spending weeks or months on a boat gathering data, then returning to labs to make sense of it, oceanographers say they expect to be able to order up specific requests from their desktops and download the results.

So the basics are… a new initiative to wire the ocean floor with sensors and instruments that will be connected via fiber-optic cable with the resulting data being uploaded to the internet in real time. Now if we could only tap into the high speed connections offshore I would be one happy mariner.

The Full Article:

‘Bringing the Ocean to the World,’ in High-Tech

(thanks to Sea Fever for the tip)