On June 6, 2011 the ALOHA Cabled Observatory (ACO) “went live,”returning data from instruments on the deep seafloor, about 60 nautical miles north of Oahu, Hawaii, and 4,800 meters below the ocean surface. Funded by the University of Hawaii and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the ALOHA observatory uses a retired telecommunications cable to provide data and electrical connections for a variety of research instruments.
In late February, MBARI marine-operations staff connected two new instruments to the MARS ocean observatory in Monterey Bay. One instrument, developed by John Horne at the University of Washington, uses sound to monitor marine life. The second instrument is an ultra-sensitive seismometer sponsored by Barbara Romanowicz at the University of California, Berkeley.
On April 1, 2007 researchers completed an important step in constructing the first deep-sea cabled observatory in the continental United States. In a multi-institution effort managed by MBARI and funded by the National Science Foundation, 52 kilometers (32 miles) of cable were laid along the seafloor of Monterey Bay.
During the spring and summer of 2005, engineers have been working on the main “science node,” a key element of the Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS). After being installed on the seafloor, the science node will serve as a network hub and an electrical substation for the MARS underwater observatory.