Sea Technology

FEB 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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30 st / February 2017 www.sea-technology.com sels is limited, and the expense of a research cruise is large. Broader opportunities for measurements have emerged in the last decades using vessels of opportunity, such as ferries that are instrumented with underway sensor systems (also known as "ferry boxes"). These are primarily for physical characteristics, but they have additional capabilities, such as continuous plankton recorders for selected biologi- cal observations. However, ferry-based measurements are limited in geographic scope and do not have the flexibility in routing to respond to evolving situations and needs for information. Satellite observations are attractive for global synoptic views, but the conductivity of ocean water limits the penetration of optical and radar signatures to a relative- ly thin surface layer. Thus, the ocean monitoring research community is looking for new ways to capture widespread ocean observations that include many physical, biological and chemical characteristics. These will be done primarily using new in-situ sensors and new platforms and platform networks complemented by advanced interoperable infor- mation systems. There have been a number of important innovations in autonomous observation platforms over the last 20 years, S uppose that we could improve forecasts of hurricane intensity so preparations could be more focused and ac- curate. Hurricanes are driven, in part, by the thermal ener- gy of the ocean, and more information is needed about the ocean conditions for better predictions. Similarly, ocean information is involved in studies of climate change, ocean warming, carbon dioxide uptake, and oxygen reduction, as well as in the use of the oceans and seafloor for food and natural resources. It is hard to have a comprehensive per- spective because of the size and complexity of the ocean and the limited access for high-quality measurements. While there have been important advances over the last decades in monitoring the physical properties of the ma- rine environment, the observation of chemical and biologi- cal properties is substantially less mature. Essential ocean variables are being defined to guide measurements, lead- ing to the emergence of innovative platforms and sensors for widespread, broad observations. Ocean observations over the last few hundred years have been done through ship-based measurements. The observa- tions are along a ship track, typically providing a series of point measurements. However, the number of research ves- A selection of platforms evaluated for the NeXOS project: Wave Glider (Liquid Robotics, U.S.), ESTOC top-buoy (PLOCAN, Spain) and Sailbuoy (Offshore Sensing AS, Norway). (Photo Credit: Carlos Barrera and David Peddi) A New Generation of Optical Systems For Ocean Monitoring Matrix Fluorescence for Multifunctional Ocean Sensing By Dr. Jay Pearlman • Dr. Oliver Zielinski

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