Why relocate the Pioneer Array?

The Pioneer Array was designed to have the ability to relocate to a new geographic area.

The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is a science-driven ocean observing network that delivers real-time data from more than 800 instruments to address critical science questions. OOI’s integrated infrastructure program is composed of platforms and sensor systems that measure physical, chemical, geological and biological properties and processes from the seafloor to the air-sea interface. The OOI program is funded by the National Science Foundation and was fully commissioned in 2016. The Observatory consists of five arrays: one Regional Cabled Array, two Global Arrays, and two Coastal Arrays. The data collected from these arrays are relayed through a cyberinfrastructure technology system and made available through the data portal on the OOI website at www.oceanobservatories.org. OOI data are freely available online to anyone with an Internet connection.

The Pioneer Array was conceived as a re-locatable, coastal array suitable for moderate wave and current regimes on the continental shelf and upper slope. The Pioneer Array was initially located off the coast of New England, about 75 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. It consisted of cross-shelf moored arrays and autonomous vehicles that observed the coastal environment, enabling examination of upwelling, shelf break fronts, and cross-shelf exchanges. The Pioneer Array was developed as a relocatable asset, deployable over time periods appropriate to the scientific questions at hand. After successfully operating off the coast of New England since the commissioning of OOI, based on community input, a new location for the Pioneer Array is proposed for the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB).

The Pioneer Array relocation planning efforts are underway, including environmental review.