Why relocate the Pioneer Array?

The Pioneer Array was designed to have the ability to relocate it 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 is currently located off the coast of New England, about 75 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. It consists of cross-shelf moored arrays and autonomous vehicles that observe 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. As we complete four years since the commissioning of OOI, now is the time to consider a new location for the Pioneer Array.

The Pioneer Array relocation effort (if a new site is selected) is planned during 2023, which coincides with the last year of WHOI’s Cooperative Agreement with NSF for operation of the OOI Large Facility (WHOI is eligible for a second 5-year Cooperative Agreement).