Use of Profiler Moorings in the Ocean
Matthew Palanza* and John Lund
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA
Submission: July 26, 2019; Published: August 12, 2019
*Correspondence author: Matthew Palanza, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, Ma 02543, USA
How to cite this article:Matthew Palanza, John Lund. Use of Profiler Moorings in the Ocean Observatories Initiative. Oceanogr Fish Open Access J. 2019;
10(3): 555788. DOI: 10.19080/OFOAJ.2019.10.555788
The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) , supported by the National Science Foundation, is directed to operate and maintain arrays of moored and mobile assets in four locations around the globe. These locations include two coastal arrays off the east and west coasts of the United States and two global arrays in the Irminger Sea, and North Pacific. These arrays are currently functional, supplying oceanographic data to the scientific community in near real time. There are several types of moorings continuously deployed in these locations. The Coastal Profiler Moorings  are instrumented and designed to resolve compelling scientific “Essential Ocean Variables” through sustained measurements of ocean processes and properties. The OOI represents the result of more than two decades of scientific planning, leading to a deployed operating infrastructure based on science requirements derived from science themes. The OOI has an expected operation of 25 years or more, and data are freely available to users via the Internet. Wire Following Profilers have been in continuous operation at the Pioneer Array  since April of 2014 (Figure 1).
The OOI Wire Following Profiler Mooring is a combination of prior art and a commercially available product. The “Whale Detection Mooring”  designed and operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) was adapted as a near real-time platform for a McLane Moored Profiler  (MMP). Profiler Moorings consist of a surface buoy containing batteries, single-board computer, and telemetry modules (GPS, Iridium ISU,
Iridium SBD, Wi-Fi, Free Wave Radio, Radar Target Enhancer, and a XEOS KILO beacon). The mooring riser includes a 50-foot stretch hose that serves as a compliant member to de-couple surface motion from the remainder of the mooring. The stretch hose includes electrical conductors to transmit data from the instruments. A 64” syntactic foam sphere provides tension for the inductive 5/16 jacketed wire rope that the Wire Following Profiler (WFP) climbs up and down. The wire rope, along with the seawater ground, provides the inductive pathway to transmit data from both the WFP and Teledyne RDI Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP). There are two acoustic releases above the anchor which allow the riser portion to be detached from the anchor for recovery. The second acoustic release allows a line pack, attached to the anchor, to float to the surface so that the 6000 lbs. anchor can be recovered separately using a heavy lift winch.
McLane Moored Profilers include:
i. CTD – Sea Bird 52MP pumped CTD with attached
ii. Sea Bird 43F Dissolved Oxygen sensor
iii. Fluorometer - WetLabs ECOBBFL2
iv. Acoustic Current Meter – Nortek Aquadopp2DVS
v. PAR (Photosynthetic Available Radiation) sensor – Bio spherical Instruments QSP-2200
Profilers Moorings are serviced approximately every
6 months. Deployed moorings are recovered, and newly
refurbished moorings are redeployed in nominally the same
location. During the refurbishment period all batteries are
replaced, instruments returned to vendors for recalibration.
Telemetry and riser components, including the stretch hose, are
inspected and serviced. Inductive wire rope and chain sections
are replaced. Anchors, buoyancy spheres and buoy flotation foam
are cleaned and painted. Buoys and instruments are reintegrated
and burned-in for several weeks prior to redeployment.
Profilers that operate in depths shallower than 200 meters
are programmed to make full profiles every 90 minutes. The
collected profile data is inductively transferred to the surface
buoy every other dive. When the surface buoy is woken up by
the profiler it initiates an Iridium data call to the OOI servers.
Profilers (CP02PMUO and PC04OSPM) operating in water deeper
that 200 meters perform a half profile to/from 200 meters
between each full profile. These Profilers are programmed to
profile every 180 minutes. Similarly, they telemeter data every
The continuous operation of these systems since 2014
has generated a statistically significant amount of engineering
data for performance analysis. This has allowed the operators
to provide direct feedback to the vendor. The WFP has been improved over time with this information and has led to an
improved product for OOI and all users of this technology. Table
one below is summary of operational statistics. Each platform
deployed for the Ocean Observatories Initiative has a specific
Reference Designator that indicates the type of system and its
location. Column 1 are the seven deployed at the Pioneer Array.
Column two are the deployement dates used to generate the
data in columns three, four and five. The WFP has proven to be
a robust, and effective platform. Since 2014, there have been 60
separate deployments, with over 100,000 profiles completed for
a total of over 12 million meters of vertical travel (Table 1).