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January 2012 Issue

NEPTUNE Canada Completes Subsea Cable Repair Job
NEPTUNE Canada announced in November that its team on the cable ship Global Sentinel had successfully repaired a faulty subsea connection responsible for a complete shutdown in its observatory network.

Within 24 hours of the shutdown, engineers from NEPTUNE Canada and equipment provider Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) had traced the problem to the Folger node site near Bamfield, Canada, where instruments monitor coastal processes. They then rerouted power and data from the rest of the network to flow in the opposite direction around the 800-kilometer loop while arrangements were made to get a ship to the Folger site.

The mission confirmed the initial diagnosis of a faulty branching unit, which was replaced using an ROV. NEPTUNE Canada said the estimated $1 million repair would be covered under its maintenance budget. Throughout the repair there was no loss to data archives, and all instruments on the network are back online, NEPTUNE said.

"Experience gained from this repair will be shared with builders of similar systems all over the world, in particular by researchers in the U.S. who have just completed the first phase of installing a complementary subsea system scheduled to go online by 2014," Kate Moran, director of NEPTUNE Canada, said. For more information, visit www.neptunecanada.ca.

New SM2M Enables Ultrasonic Biological Acoustic Recordings
Wildlife Acoustics (Concord, Massachusetts) will begin shipping in February a new submersible long-term passive recorder that can record ultrasonic frequencies.

The SM2M Ultrasonic, details of which were announced in November, can record and monitor anthropogenic and biological acoustics ranging from 2 hertz to 192 kilohertz. With 32 low self-discharge nickel-metal hydride, alkaline or lithium-manganese D-cell batteries, it has a continuous recording time of up to 204 hours, 600 hours and 1,008 hours. Recording time doubles under half-duty cycles. The SM2M Ultrasonic can store up to 13 days of audio at a 384-kilohertz sample rate with one channel.

The SM2M Ultrasonic can be anchored and recovered via tether, diver or an optional acoustic release. A configuration with the hydrophone attached on an extended cable is also available. For more information, visit www.wildlifeacoustics.com.

NASA Replaces Aging GOES-11 Weather Satellite with GOES-15
During 12 years of loyal service, the geostationary satellite GOES-11 tracked weather and gathered data on the U.S. West Coast, Hawaii and the Pacific region for NASA and NOAA. In December, the agencies began the process to deactivate the satellite and replace it with the GOES-15.

Launched in May 2000, GOES-11 was originally planned for a five-year mission but lasted nearly seven years longer. Aware that GOES-11 was nearing the end of its fuel supply, the agencies have spent the past several months planning for the end of the satellite's mission.

Deactivation of GOES-11 began in early December when data observations were shifted to GOES-15. In mid-December, NOAA was working to move GOES-11 approximately 300 kilometers above its orbit, where it will be officially decommissioned.

Designed and built by Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems, GOES-15 is the third and final spacecraft in the GOES N-P Series of geostationary environmental weather satellites. It provides more data, with better resolution and image stability than its predecessor, NOAA said. During the checkout period, GOES-15 delivered high-resolution images from space, including the first visible and infrared images of Earth from its imager instrument and its first image of the sun taken by its solar X-ray imager instrument, NASA said.

The GOES-15 will share a parking space with GOES-14, which is now in the same storage orbit, NASA said. The GOES program tracks weather, space weather and oceanographic changes, and provides scientific data collection and information for search and rescue operations. NASA continues planning for the next generation of geostationary satellites, GOES-R, the first of which is set to launch in 2015. GOES-R is expected to more than double the clarity of GOES imagery and provide more atmospheric observations than current capabilities with more frequent images, NASA said. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov.

NOAA Boosts Ocean Research On East Coast With $1.8M Grant
The Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) received $1.77 million in funding from NOAA, the association announced in November. The majority of the funding will be distributed among institutions and universities partnered with NERACOOS to sustain its data collection and forecasting efforts.

NERACOOS, part of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, provides weather and ocean data over an area extending from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to the Long Island Sound.

Funding will be awarded to six organizations. The University of Maine Physical Oceanography Group's funding will support its Gulf of Maine buoy array and a coastal radar system that measures currents and supports search and rescue. The University of New Hampshire will use its award to fund its buoy in Great Bay, its wave buoy off New Hampshire and its instruments to continue measuring ocean acidification.

Other rewards focus on enhancing water-quality measurements in the ocean. The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth's funding will support its forecast system that predicts ocean conditions. The University of Rhode Island will use its funding for developing and testing of sensors to measure ocean nutrients and to support data-sharing from Narragansett Bay. The University of Connecticut will receive funds for its buoys in Long Island Sound designed to better understand the area's water quality.

Funding for the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia will help support a wave forecast system and monitoring and detection of harmful algal blooms. The Gulf of Maine Research will receive an award to continue supporting NERACOOS data management, website and data product development. For more information, visit www.noaa.gov.


2013:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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