Underwater Observatory


Deployment and initial sampling with an observatory node. Photo: oceanobservatories.org

The Friday Harbor Labs is the testing site for a data collection node as part of the world’s largest ocean observatory network.  This node will be installed off of Cantilever Point, and will allow scientists to connect oceanographic probes, cameras and other data recorders.  This node is installed at 35m depth, shallow enough that it can be easily serviced by scuba divers to work out any kinks before the more extensive network gets installed at much deeper depths.  This network is part of the Ocean Observatories Initiative.

Sebens Lab divers (Derek Smith, Tim Dwyer and myself) have completed several dives to the test node site in preparation for its installation.  The node is powered and feeds information back to FHL by a cable connected to the seawater intake pumphouse.  The cable runs down a series of rocky ledges to a flat sand and shell hash bottom, where the node rests on a pallet, awaiting data recorders.  Initial testing will begin this summer.

The network was recently featured in a UW news article.

The test node is located off the point at the east edge of the FHL developed area. The pumphouse building is visible on the point at the bottom of this photo.

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