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7 Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations This chapter presents the findings, conclusions, and recommenda- tions regarding the implementation of a seafloor observatory network for oceanographic research. These findings and recommendations are based on input from various reports and workshop documents (Appendix C), experience with existing observatories (Chapter 2), presentations made to the NRC Committee by authorities in the field, and the expertise of NRC Committee members. This input was discussed in detail and the findings presented here are a distillation of the outcomes of those discussions. FINDINGS By exploiting rapid advances in the development of computa- tional, robotic, communications, and sensor capabilities, the NSF's OOI will provide the infrastructure to enable a new era of ocean research in the 21St century. The advanced capabilities of the OOI, will include high- bandwidth, two-way communication; access to data in real-time or near- real-time from sites in even very remote parts of the world's oceans; real- time, interactive instrument control; availability of significant amounts of power to operate instruments that would not otherwise be feasible to use; and the development of systems that can withstand severe environments. These capabilities promise to greatly advance the study of Earth and ocean systems in the coming decades (see Chapters 1 and 3~. The network of research-driven ocean observatories envisioned by the OOI would facilitate major advances in basic knowledge of the 168

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FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 169 oceans at a time when there is an increasing need to understand the oceans in order to address important societal concerns such as climate change, natural hazards, and the health and viability of the ocean's living and non-living resources. By providing a mechanism to carry out fundamental research on natural and human-induced change in the oceans on time scales ranging from seconds to decades; enabling the de- velopment of new experimental approaches and observational strategies; and improving access to oceanographic data by researchers anywhere in the world, the OOI will be a catalyst for new discoveries and major ad- vances in basic knowledge that will be essential to address important societal concerns involving the world's oceans (see Chapter 1~. The OOI will greatly improve the ability of operational ocean- observing systems such as the IOOS and COOS to observe and predict ocean phenomena. The research-based OOI is an important complement to the proposed IOOS, an operational system driven by the needs of po- tential users and designed to improve the safety and efficiency of marine shipping, mitigate effects of natural hazards, reduce public health risks, improve weather and climate predictions, protect and restore a healthy coastal environment, and enable sustainable use of marine resources. The OOI, in contrast, is driven by basic research questions and its principal products will be improved understanding of the oceans and new and improved technologies. The OOI will thus provide the key enabling re- search for IOOS, including fundamental advances in observatory plat- forms and, through the research of investigators using the OOI, basic understanding of sensor technology that will enable IOOS to meet its longer-term operational goals. The IOOS will provide the OOI with an important larger-scale framework of observations and background data necessary for interpreting the process-oriented experiments that are the centerpiece of basic research (see Chapter 6~. The scientific motivations and benefits of research-based ocean observatories are well-defined in existing workshop reports and re- lated documents for the three major components of the OOI: global observatories, regional observatories, and coastal observatories. The documents listed in Appendix C and referenced in Chapters 1 and 3 demonstrate that seafloor observatories represent a promising new ap- proach for advancing basic research in nearly every area of marine sci- ence. Scientific planning to define the location, experiments, and in- strument requirements of specific observatories varies significantly among the three OOI components, and additional planning is needed before the design of these systems can be finalized. Although the gen- eral scientific rationales for ocean observatories are well-established, the specific locations, scientific experiments, and instrument requirements of

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170 ENABLING OCEAN RESEARCH IN THE 2 lST CENTURY proposed observatories; the mix of systems that will be part of the OOI (cables, moorings, etc.~; and the interrelationships among these systems require further definition. Due to the importance of scientific planning at this level for the definition of OOI infrastructure requirements, it is essen- tial that this planning be funded and carried out for all three OOI compo- nents over the next two years (see Chapter 3~. There is currently no community consensus on the appropriate balance among relocatable observatories (Pioneer Arrays), cabled ob- servatories, and long-term time-series measurements needed for coastal ocean and Great Lakes research. The recent CoOP workshop report rec- ommended that relocatable Pioneer Arrays which would enable rela- tively short-term, process-oriented studies in the coastal regions of the U.S. be the main focus of the coastal OOI, (lahnke et al., 2002) while the subsequent SCOTS workshop report emphasized the unique opportuni- ties for coastal research provided by fixed cabled observatories (Dickey and Glenn, 2003~. It is clearly necessary to reach agreement on the optimal mix of these two different coastal research strategies. A third essential component of a coastal observatory system is an array of fixed moorings designed to provide measurements of physical, chemical, and biological variability over long time frames, such as those associated with natural decadal variability or the even longer time scales of natural and/or an- thropogenic climate change. While the CoOP workshop report recognized this need, it concluded that IOOS would provide the backbone of neces- sary long-term observations in the coastal zone (lahnke et al., 2002~. How- ever, it is not yet clear whether the proposed IOOS "sentinel" moorings would be suitably placed or suitably instrumented for basic research in the coastal ocean and Great Lakes (see Chapter 3~. NSF policies and procedures for the MREFC account require that a single entity have overall financial and management accountability for the program. Thus although the OOI encompasses a diverse group of researchers from many different disciplines working in both the coastal and open ocean, management of ocean observatory construc- tion, installation, and operation will have to be done through a single Program Office. This central Program Office will provide coordinated, program-wide scientific planning and oversight, fiscal and contract man- agement of observatory installation, maintenance and operation, stan- dard and protocol development for data management, and education and outreach activities. The greatest challenge for the Program Office will be integrating three very disparate communities with different scientific goals, infrastructure requirements, and cultures into a single coherent program (see Chapter 4~. The maintenance and operation costs of the infrastructure asso- ciated with the OOI could run $20-30 million annually (not including

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FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 171 ship time). With ship time included, these costs could double, approach- ing $50 million per year. There are concerns in parts of the community that these costs could drain resources from other areas of ocean science and monopolize assets such as ships and ROVs, or that overruns in the construction and installation costs of more technically advanced obser- vatory systems could impact the acquisition of other observatory com- ponents. While substantial, the operation and maintenance costs for the OOI are not out of line with other major geoscience initiatives. By com- parison the budget of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) in FY 2002 was approximately $46 million for operation of the JOIDES Resolution, a scien- tific drilling vessel and other associated program activities (drilling and science support services, information services, publications, administra- tion). Nonetheless, the levels of funding that will be required to maintain and operate this research-based observatory network are substantial and, based on estimates in this report, significantly greater than the $10M/yr figure in the OOI funding profile included in the FY 2004 NSF Budget Request. In order to allay fears that observatory OHM costs will divert resources from other areas of ocean science it is essential that such costs be accurately estimated and budgeted ahead of time, that facility O&M costs be clearly separated from science costs, and that strict fiscal over- sight procedures be instituted to ensure that the program operates within its budget (see Chapter 4~. The capabilities of some proposed observatory systems raise na- tional security issues that will need to be addressed before these sys- tems are installed. These issues exist for both cabled observatories and moorings and include the location, capabilities, and observing times of hydrophore arrays and other sensor types. Other concerns include the integrity of the observatory system (ensuring there are no unauthorized sensors on the observatory infrastructure) and the openness of data col- lected by the system (thus prohibiting data encryption by individual us- ers) (see Chapter 4~. Ocean observatories will require substantial amounts of ship and ROV time for installation, operation, and maintenance and will place significant demands on the scheduling of UNOLS vessels for regular servicing of observatory nodes in remote ocean locations. Installation of 15-20 global observatory sites, a regional cabled observatory (e.g., NEP- TUNE), and coastal observatories consisting of both moorings and cabled observatories are likely to require over 4 ship-years (assuming 300 opera- tional days per year), including over 1 ship-year for industry contract vessels for both cable laying and spar buoy installation. Maintenance of this infrastructure is estimated to require at least 3 ship-years annually, most of that on global-class UNOLS vessels or their commercial equiva- lent. Observatory operations will also require large amounts of ROV time

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172 ENABLING OCEAN RESEARCH IN THE 2 lST CENTURY (10-20 months per year). Both work-class and science-class ROVs will be needed to meet observatory requirements. The need for regular servicing visits to observatory nodes, sometimes located in remote regions, will place particular demands on the UNOLS ship scheduling process, espe- cially for the large global- and ocean-class UNOLS vessels (see Chapter 5~. There are insufficient large global-class vessels and ROVs in academia to support ocean observatory installation and maintenance needs while continuing to meet on-going expeditionary research re- quirements. Without a commitment from NSF to augment ship and ROV capabilities to meet these needs, the scope and success of the ocean observatories program could be jeopardized and other types of ocean research requiring these assets could be negatively affected. All of the global-class UNOLS vessels are currently heavily subscribed for expeditionary research and these ships will not be able to meet the de- mands for ocean observatory maintenance and operation without unac- ceptable consequences for other ocean sciences research. The single deep- ocean ROV available through the U.S. NDSF is also inadequate for both observatory and general science support. This problem will become criti- cal in 2007 or 2008 as the installation of these observatory systems begins. A significant expansion of the large ship capability in UNOLS and the number of ROVs available through the NDSF will be required by 2010 to avoid a major negative impact on other areas of ocean research due to the establishment of ocean observatories. Because of the long lead-time in funding and constructing new UNOLS vessels, contracting commercial vessels and ROVs to meet observatory requirements could prove an at- tractive option (see Chapter 5~. The offshore energy and telecommunications industries have extensive experience in the design, deployment, and maintenance of submarine cables and large, moored platforms, and have assets (ROVs, cable-laying vessels, heavy-lift vessels) that could be used for ocean observatory installation and maintenance. There are a variety of ways for the observatory community to utilize the technology and expertise developed in the commercial sector. Options range from contracting with industry for specific services (e.g., fabrication of observatory infrastruc- ture components, installation of cables or large moored platforms, and the maintenance and servicing of these structures), to leasing platforms (e.g., ships, ROVs, AUVs, or moorings), to participating on technical and engineering advisory committees in the OOI management structure. In- dustry may, in some circumstances, provide a cost-effective approach for providing services or facilities for the installation and maintenance of the ocean observatory infrastructure (see Chapter 5~. The infrastructure requirements of the different OOI compo- nents (global, regional, and coastal) share many common elements, but

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FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 173 also have important differences due to factors such as proximity to land, power and data telemetry requirements, and maintenance logis- tics. Coordination at the program level will be needed to leverage the common elements of these different observatory systems. The different technical, operational and logistical requirements of these systems, how- ever, suggest that day-to-day management of the three OOI components will need to be handled separately (see Chapter 4~. The technology already exists for certain types of observatories (e.g., low-bandwidth deep-sea buoys, coastal moored observatories, simple cabled observatories) and deployment of these systems can be- gin as soon as funding is available. Next-generation observatories (e.g., multi-loop, multi-node cabled observatories; high-bandwidth, electro- optical-mechanical, cable-linked moorings; Arctic and Southern Ocean observatories, relocatable coastal observatories) require additional pro- totyping and testing of critical sub-systems, but should be technologi- cally feasible within the five-year time frame of the OOI (2006-2010~. A review of the status of engineering development for both moored buoys and cabled observatories indicates that progress is being made in ad- dressing the major engineering development issues facing the more ad- vanced observatory systems. Major conceptual and engineering design studies have been completed for plate-scale cabled observatories and for next-generation moored buoy systems. Funding has been secured for cabled observatory test beds in shallow and deep water, and a prototype low-bandwidth, relocatable moored buoy system. However, additional funding for prototyping and testing of high-bandwidth and/or high-lati- tude buoy systems and cabled networks with multiple-node, multiple- loop topologies will be required before these systems are installed (see Chapter 3~. The availability of retired telecommunication cables may repre- sent a significant opportunity for ocean observatory science. Because the availability of these cables is a relatively recent development, it has not been factored into earlier planning of the OOI. More than 35,000 km of electro-optical telecommunications cable on the ocean floor will be retired in place by industry within the next few years. These cables, which may either be used in place or, in some cases, relocated, could provide high-bandwidth and power to remote regions of the oceans, although a number of logistical and technical issues must be addressed in order to determine whether or not relocation is a cost-effective approach for any particular proposed site (see Chapter 3~. While a number of observatory-capable physical, geophysical and big-optical sensors are available, a very limited number of sensors exist for making chemical and biological measurements at ocean obser- vatories, or for making observations in more challenging environments

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174 ENABLING OCEAN RESEARCH IN THE 2 lST CENTURY such as the Southern Ocean or the Arctic. Biofouling and corrosion remain major impediments to making long-term unattended measure- ments in the oceans. In addition to the development of new big-chemical sensors, research is also required to standardize sensor-observatory inter- faces, improve sensor reliability, provide in situ sensor calibration, reduce biofouling, and minimize sensor-related environmental disturbance that could interfere with other measurements. Due to the long lead-time in the development and production of new sensors, this effort will need to begin well in advance of the completion of observatory installation (see Chapter 4~. The total investment in sensors and instrumentation that will eventually be made for use with the observatory systems acquired through the OOI over its first decade of operation could approach the cost of the basic infrastructure itself. The core suite of instrumentation that will be funded through the MREFC will represent only a small portion of this total. The various workshop reports and planning docu- ments referenced in this report include long lists of sensors and instru- mentation for ocean observatories that would enable a broad spectrum of both disciplinary and interdisciplinary ocean research. The approach that the NSF has adopted draws the majority of funding for these observatory sensors and instrumentation from the scientific programs or projects uti- lizing the infrastructure (whether supported by the NSF or other agen- cies) rather than through the MREFC account. This approach is somewhat analogous with the way in which the academic research fleet has been managed, where each vessel is equipped with a basic suite of instrumen- tation but scientists or programs are typically responsible for more spe- cialized instruments utilized on a particular expedition. Nonetheless there are concerns in the research community that these other funding sources may not materialize and that, consequently, access to the observatory infrastructure will be delayed and its full scientific potential will not be realized (see Chapter 4~. To ensure the comparability of measurements made at different OOI observatories, and to realize their full potential for research and to observing networks, observatory sensors will need to be calibrated ac- cording to international standards. The core and community instruments at ocean research observatories will need to be maintained and routinely calibrated to internationally-agreed upon standards so that these data can be integrated with other elements of global Earth and ocean-observing systems. Instrument calibration requires proper facilities, including cali- bration standards, baths and laboratories, and considerable staff support (see Chapters 3 and 4~. The installation and maintenance of ocean observatories, and the conduct of complementary studies, will require a number of highly

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FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 175 trained marine technical support staff that greatly exceeds existing per- sonnel resources. In addition, observatory operation will place signifi- cant demands on instrumentation inventories and resources, including maintenance and calibration facilities. Highly trained marine techni- cians are already a scarce resource; with the advent of ocean observatories dependent upon advanced technologies this resource could well become a limiting one. Although not part of the observatory infrastructure costs, the pre-deployment instrument preparation and calibration, deployment, and post-deployment calibration and servicing associated with the core and community instrumentation envisioned for the OOI will require a significant investment. For instrumentation that is labor intensive to ser- vice and calibrate, costs at each turn-around can approach the cost of acquisition of the instruments. The certification and maintenance of cali- bration infrastructure can also be a significant ongoing cost (see Chapter 4~. While archive centers exist for some data types that will be col- lected by ocean observatories, they do not exist for others. Without a coordinated data management and archiving system, data obtained at ocean observatories may not be generally available due to a lack of data standards, quality control, or centralized archives, and the great scien- tific and educational potential of ocean observatories may not be real- ized. The ocean science community lags behind many disciplines (e.g., seismology, space science) in using modern data management systems to archive and distribute the data it acquires and in making data available on-line to investigators, in real-time or near-real-time. As a result, some data products are not deposited in centralized archives and valuable data are lost or are effectively irretrievable. Experience demonstrates that the ocean observatory program cannot rely on individual investigators to manage, archive, or disseminate observatory data. Data must be profes- sionally managed and distributed through established data centers ac- cording to a policy that guarantees data is made available to the ocean science community and to the general public (see Chapter 4~. Seafloor observatories will provide unique opportunities for ed- ucation and public outreach (EPO) by utilizing real-time data through the interactivity of the Internet to help students, teachers, and the gen- eral public understand the relevance and excitement of ocean research to their everyday lives. Nearly all aspects of observatory research can be incorporated in educational or public outreach programs, but the oppor- tunity for real-time display of video images and the potential to interact remotely with instrumentation at the observatory will excite and engage students and the general public alike to learn more about the oceans. Real-time access to information from the oceans will provide an under- water laboratory that can be used to motivate students to learn the basics

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176 ENABLING OCEAN RESEARCH IN THE 2 lST CENTURY of mathematics, physics, and chemistry needed to become more ocean- literate citizens (see Chapter 4~. CONCLUSIONS AN D RECOMMEN DATIONS The NSF should move ahead with funding for the OOI and es- tablish the infrastructure for a network of ocean observatories for re- search. Seafloor observatories will offer ocean scientists new opportuni- ties to study multiple, interrelated processes over timescales ranging from seconds to decades, to conduct comparative studies of regional processes, and to map basin-scale and whole-Earth structures. The scientific plan- ning and technical developments necessary to establish a portion of a seafloor observatory network for basic research are sufficiently advanced to proceed with a major investment in this infrastructure at this time. Coordination among the OOI, IOOS, and other national and in- ternational observatory efforts will be critical in the areas of infra- structure development, instrumentation, ship and ROV utilization, data management and technology transfer. Mechanisms should be put in place through the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) to facilitate this coordination among the different U.S. agencies sup- porting ocean-observing systems. The NSF-funded OOI will serve as a key building block in a broader international effort to develop, build, deploy, and maintain ocean observatories on a global scale for both basic research and operational needs. It is anticipated that the U.S. OOI will be joined by other national efforts in what will eventually evolve into a truly international ocean observatory program. However, to fully realize the potential of this observatory program good coordination is essential among the partners in this effort, at both the national and international level. A process should be instituted immediately by NSF through the Dynamics of Earth and Ocean Systems (DEOS) Steering Committee, or the OOI Program Office, once it is established, to define better the scientific goals, locations, instrument, and infrastructure requirements of specific observatories. In addition, a consensus needs to be devel- oped within the coastal research community on the appropriate bal- ance between relocatable observatories (Pioneer Arrays), cabled obser- vatories, and long-term moorings that best meet the largest range of specific requirements for coastal and Great Lakes research. Scientific planning at this level is required to ensure that the observatory infra- structure (including core instrument suites) is well matched to science requirements and to identify initial experiments early-on so there is an immediate scientific payoff once the observatories are in place. This planning should be implemented for all three OOI components over the

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FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 177 next year, well in advance of the installation of the first observatories. This process should involve the broadest possible cross section of the ocean sciences community, and may include planning workshops, solici- tation and review of proposals from individuals and community groups, and the establishment of science and technical advisory committees to the OOI Program Office. It is essential that this process also include rep- resentatives from Ocean.US, in order to clarify the respective contribu- tions of IOOS and the OOI to long-term coastal observations, identify overlap in the facility needs of the research and operational observing systems in the coastal region, and initiate coordination and joint plan- ning between the two programs. A management model for the OOI based on that used success- fully for many years by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) should be adopted, with some modifications. The program should be managed by a community-based organization, preferably with experience in managing large oceanographic research and operational programs. While the ODP management model is a good one, there are important differences in the requirements for managing the OOI including the need to manage multiple, different operating facilities; the need to coor- dinate efforts in long-term ocean observatories with a number of differ- ent federal funding agencies; a much greater need for new technology development; and a less structured involvement at the international level in program participation. The philosophy of the OOI management structure should be one in which the day-to-day operation of different OOI components are the responsibility of the entities with appropriate scientific and technical expertise (scientific institutions, consortia, or pri- vate industry), while the role of the program management organization should be one of coordination, oversight, and fiscal and contract man- agement. The OOI program management office needs to be established by the end of 2003, to oversee scientific planning and technical develop- ment in preparation for the construction and installation of the observa- tory infrastructure, some of which involves extensive advance planning. The OOI Program Office, once established, should conduct a thorough systems engineering design review of each of the three OOI components; develop a detailed implementation plan and risk assess- ment for each observatory system; produce detailed cost estimates for construction, installation, maintenance, and operations; have these plans reviewed by an independent panel of experts; and put in place oversight mechanisms and fiscal controls to ensure that implementa- tion tasks are completed on time and within budget. The OOI program is a large, complex, and technically challenging endeavor. In order to mitigate the risks both technical and financial associated with this in- vestment, it is essential to develop a detailed implementation plan with

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178 ENABLING OCEAN RESEARCH IN THE 2 lST CENTURY specific milestones and regular review by independent experts. Observa- tory system operators must address reliability issues such as timely re- sponse to system damage or failure, mean time between failures, and other factors that would affect the life cycle cost and functionality of the system for scientific research. The program must balance the desire to push the envelope technologically with the need to provide a reliable, functional, and cost-effective infrastructure for conducting observatory science. It is essential that the resources for observatory construction and installation available through the MREFC account be matched with ac- curate and realistic cost estimates for each observatory component. If necessary, the scope of proposals will have to be adjusted to what can be realistically accomplished within budgetary constraints. The OOI Program Office should develop an operations policy that addresses allocation of research time, bandwidth, and power usage among potential users for each of the three OOI components. Priori- tization of proposed experiments should be based on the quality of the proposed science as judged by a peer-review process. One of the highest priorities of the Program Office will be to ensure fair and equitable access to observatory infrastructure by all funded investigators. The program management will need to work with the scientific community through a science advisory structure to select, support, and periodically evaluate community experiments; define access requirements and provide techni- cal support for individual investigator-initiated experiments; develop pro- tocols for scientists not involved in deploying experiments to access data bases and archives; and negotiate access agreements with other users (such as for-profit entertainment industries). Operating rules for the ob- servatories will have to take into account the needs of the scientific com- munity, agencies interested in using or supporting the use of the facilities, international partners and collaborators, and other users. A successful observatory program will require sufficient fund- ing for both the operation and maintenance of the observatory infra- structure and for the science that this infrastructure will enable. The NSF needs to take appropriate steps to ensure that sufficient resources are available to meet these needs by the time the observatory infrastruc- ture is in place. The O&M costs associated with the infrastructure ac- quired through the OOI MREFC have been estimated at approximately $25 million per year, not including ship time. If ship time is included, that figure doubles (Table 4-1~. This estimate does not include the cost of funding the scientific research that this new infrastructure will enable. While these costs are difficult to estimate, they could amount to a signifi- cant fraction of the annual O&M costs. Sufficient funding for observatory science and related O&M costs will be essential if the full potential of observatory science is to be realized and in order to ensure that the obser-

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FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 179 vatory program does not drain resources from other areas of ocean sci- ence. The NSF should work with the appropriate staff from the Office of the Secretary of the Navy in cooperation with the National Ocean Research Leadership Council (NORLC) to establish, as soon as pos- sible, policies addressing the national security issues raised by the po- tential capabilities of ocean observatories. While these concerns are sig- nificant, they can be addressed and resolved. Moreover, the U.S. Navy is eager to benefit from the science enabled by observatories. Establishing these security policies at a senior level as soon as possible and well before observatories are installed is extremely important. A delay resolving security concerns may hinder deployment or operation of the observatory infrastructure. As observatory capabilities evolve more sophisticated sensor systems, an ongoing process will be needed in order to review national security concerns involving the NSF, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This process must also ensure the integrity of the telemetry and configuration control of the ob- servatories such that all sensors connected are controlled and known. UNOLS and its Deep Submergence Science Committee (DESSC) should develop a strategic plan that identifies the most cost-effective options for supplying the required ship and ROV assets for observa- tory operation and maintenance and NSF should commit the necessary funds to acquire these assets. This plan should consider both the addi- tion of new vessels and ROVs to the UNOLS fleet and the contracting or long-term leasing of commercial vessels or ROVs for observatory operations. The present UNOLS Fleet Renewal Plan does not adequately address the ship requirements of the ocean research observatories ac- quired through the OOI. There is an immediate need for a study to iden- tify the ship and ROV facilities required to support global, regional, and coastal observatories and to develop a plan to provide these assets within the context of the five year OOI construction and installation schedule. This study should assess pre-installation (e.g., cable route mapping) and installation requirements (e.g., cable laying, mooring deployment, and sensor installation) as well as needs for the operation and maintenance of the observatory system. The strategic plan should consider a mix of aca- demic and commercial assets in order to find the most cost-effective means of supporting future observatory needs. In particular, this plan needs to address the way to best meet observatory requirements for large, global- class, heavy-lift capacity vessels for mooring and seafloor node installa- tion, maintenance, and replacement and the manner in which the research community's access to ROVs for observatory operations should be aug- mented. On the basis of this report, FOFC and UNOLS should reassess the Academic Fleet Renewal Plan to ensure that the capabilities of the

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180 ENABLING OCEAN RESEARCH IN THE 2 lST CENTURY academic fleet in the future are well matched with the needs of both observatory and expeditionary science and the NSF should commit the necessary resources to implement this plan. Without a commitment from the NSF to augment ship and ROV capabilities to meet these needs, the scope and success of the ocean observatories program could be severely limited and other types of ocean research requiring these assets could be negatively affected. In order for the more advanced moored buoy and cabled obser- vatory systems to be ready of installation in the 2006-2010 time frame, the NSF will need to provide significant levels of funding over the next 2-3 years for completion of prototyping and testing of critical sub-sys- tems, and for the establishment of testbeds where the performance of these systems and new observatory instrumentation can be evaluated. Engineering and operational experience exists for some simple mooring and cabled seafloor observatory configurations, but more advanced sys- tems (e.g., multi-loop, multi-node, cabled observatories; high-latitude buoys; and high-bandwidth buoys) have not been built and present some significant technological challenges. While these more advanced systems should be feasible within the five year time frame of the OOI, adequate prototyping and testing of all major subsystems, including the establish- ment of one or more pilot observatories, is required in order to minimize risk in the deployment of these advanced systems. This may require an additional investment of several million dollars between now and 2006. The technical feasibility, costs, and benefits of using retired telecommunication cables to provide power and bandwidth for some proposed OOI sites should be fully explored by a committee with ap- propriate scientific and technical expertise. The re-use of retired tele- communications cables may represent a significant opportunity for the ocean observatory community, but one that will likely exist only for a relatively short time. Due to a lack of appropriate expertise and time, this report does not evaluate the many technical, logistical, and financial is- sues associated with cable re-use for specific proposed observatory sites. It is strongly recommended, however, that NSF, perhaps through DEOS, constitute a committee with the appropriate expertise to thoroughly evalu- ate the potential benefits of utilizing retired telecommunications cables to provide power and bandwidth to some of the proposed observatory sites. A core suite of instruments should be installed on every observa- tory node and funded as part of the basic observatory infrastructure, not only to test system functionality, but also to provide the essential scientific context for the observatory's effective use in basic research. While the majority of funding for scientific instruments and experiments used with ocean observatories are expected to come from project-related sources, a core instrument suite at each node is an essential element of

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FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 181 observatory infrastructure that should be supported through the NSF's MREFC grant program, even if doing so means that fewer resources are available for acquiring the cables, moorings, and junction boxes that com- prise the basic system infrastructure. Such core instruments could in- clude: (1) engineering or system management sensors used to determine the operational status of the system and (2) COTS instruments that make basic physical, chemical, and biological measurements essential to a broad spectrum of ocean research. Data from these core instruments should be available to any interested investigator in real-time, or as soon as is prac- tical, through the observatory data management system. Core instrument needs will vary widely for different classes of observatories and will de- pend on the scientific objectives of each node. The proponents of each observatory system will be in the best position to judge the trade-off between resources invested in observatory hardware (i.e., the number of moorings or kilometers of cable) and those invested in core instruments. A separate, well-funded observatory instrumentation program at NSF, and contributions from other agencies with an interest in ocean research, will be required to obtain the full suite of sensors and instru- ments needed to fully exploit the scientific potential of the ocean obser- vatory infrastructure. A program within the NSF's Ocean Sciences Divi- sion in which peer-reviewed proposals to acquire new observatory sensors and instrumentation are eligible for funding will be essential to the long-term scientific success of the research-driven observatory net- work. Peer review will ensure that investments in new instrumentation are based on the strongest scientific rationale and potential payoff. Given the lead-time involved in constructing and acquiring new instrumenta- tion, the NSF is encouraged to establish an "Ocean Observatory Instru- mentation Program" well in advance of these observatories becoming operational. As instrumentation needs at observatories will evolve con- tinuously, a program like this one will be needed as long as the observa- tories remain in operation. There may be significant potential for support for ocean observatory instrumentation from other agencies with an inter- est in ocean research, and the NSF is encouraged to explore these options, perhaps through an interagency mechanism such as the NOPP. The NSF should augment its programs in instrumentation devel- opment, support, and calibration for observatory-capable sensors, in- cluding increasing grant duration to ensure that instrumentation groups have the capability to support the needs of the OOI. High priorities include the development of chemical and biological sensors, sensors less subject to biofouling and corrosion, sensors capable of surviving in more extreme environments, and more accurate sensors. A major effort will also be required to develop a new generation of instruments and sensors for ocean observatory science. Sensor technology, particularly in

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182 ENABLING OCEAN RESEARCH IN THE 2 lST CENTURY situ chemical and biological sensors, is not sufficiently advanced to take optimal advantage of the planned observatory infrastructure. In addition, improvements in many existing sensors are needed in order for them to operate unattended for long periods of time in an observatory setting, especially at high latitudes in the Southern Ocean or Arctic, as well as to mitigate problems such as biofouling. Given the magnitude of this need for ocean observatory science, a special program in observatory sensor development may be needed both to develop new instruments and to transition them from a research tool to an observatory-capable sensor. The NSF should work with other agencies engaged in long-term ocean observations to ensure that the national resources for instrumen- tation, maintenance and calibration facilities, and technical staff are in place and have the necessary funding stability to support the OOI. In recent years, the number of groups in the U.S. engaged in deploying moorings and maintaining moored instrumentation has decreased and the size of many of the groups that remain has decreased. The present infrastructure is inadequate to meet the considerably expanded needs for instrument maintenance and calibration that will arise from the establish- ment of both research-driven and operational observing systems in the coming decade. The NSF needs to work with other agencies supporting Earth and ocean-observing systems to ensure that adequate support is available for both facilities and support staff for observatory instrument maintenance and calibration. The workforce training needs faced by the academic community are shared by industry, which may create opportu- nities for industry-academic partnerships to meet these needs. The NSF should work with other interested agencies in the U.S. and in other nations that are involved with establishing ocean-observ- ing systems in order to ensure that centers are established and funded to process and archive data collected by ocean observatories, and to make these data readily accessible for basic research, for operational needs, and to the general public. Data from ocean observatories must be professionally managed and distributed through established data centers according to nationally and internationally agreed upon standards. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the data that will be collected at ocean observatories, data will not be stored in a single central archiving center, but rather in a network of distributed centers dedicated to particular data types. The program will need to provide tools for scientists to search and retrieve data across this distributed network of data centers, which data archive centers will require sustained funding to support data archival and distribution even beyond the end of the program. The OOI program should have an open data policy with data from all core instrumentation and community experiments made pub- licly available in as near to real-time as possible. An open data policy

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FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 183 will maximize the scientific utilization of ocean observatory data. By mak- ing it easier for scientists anywhere in the world to access these data, such a policy will, over time, significantly increase the size of the research community working on ocean-related problems. An open data policy will also encourage the use of observatory data or data products for educa- tion, in public policy and decision-making, and for use by the general public. In the case of purely experimental instrument data, raw data with a good documentation should be archived even if quality control proce- dures cannot be determined. Standards for data interchange, for data and metadata formats, and for archiving methods should be established for all types of ocean observatories and should be coordinated and integrated with other re- search-based international observatory efforts, IOOS, and COOS. There should be a Data Management Committee at the OOI program level to establish guidelines and extensible standards for metadata and to identify or develop a data and metadata search and retrieval framework to enable searches across multiple data repositories established by the observatory program. This committee should also identify or develop well-docu- mented and reliable standards and protocols to guarantee interoperability amongst all data centers. Development of standards and protocols should be coordinated with other national and international programs. Education and public outreach activities for observatory science should be coordinated at the program level by a professional staff sup- ported by funding at both the program and project level. Observatory education programs should be designed to meet National Science Edu- cation Standards, and carried out as a collaborative effort with the Na- tional Sea Grant Program and the Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE). Many aspects of observatory research make it ideal for education and public outreach programs, especially the capabilities of observatories for real-time transmission of video and for real-time instru- ment control. Education and public outreach needs to be an important objective of the observatory effort in order to involve students, teachers, university faculty, pre-college teachers, K-12 students, and the interested public in the excitement of ocean science research and the release of this data. Education programs should harness this excitement to help meet NSES, however. Implementation of an education and public outreach program through collaborative efforts with the National Sea Grant Pro- gram and COSEE is strongly encouraged. The NSF or the OOI Program Office, once it is established, should solicit proposals for a workshop to address the EPO issues raised in this report and to develop a specific EPO implementation plan for ocean research observatories, including recommending a budget for EPO activities. Experience has shown that education and outreach efforts

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184 ENABLING OCEAN RESEARCH IN THE 2 lST CENTURY will be more successful and more cost-effective if they are part of the initial observatory design and not an afterthought. The success of the EPO program will only be realized if there is a meaningful financial commit- ment to this effort at all program levels, and if individual investigators are provided the incentives and the support to incorporate innovative ways of presenting their data to K-12 students, pre-college teachers, and the general public.