Over the next three years, sensors will be deployed off the coast of North America as part of the 30-year Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The sensors are designed to track pH levels and the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide in water to better understand ocean acidification as well as its ecological and climatological effects.
Sunburst Sensors, a Missoula, Montana-based company just received a $2.5 million contract from the National Science Foundation to provide 110 of their Submersible Autonomous Moored Instrument (SAMI) for this sensor network. The submersible sensors send continuous information through satellite transmitters.
The OOI will provide 25-30 years of sustained ocean measurements to aid in the study of climate variability, ocean circulation and ecosystem dynamics, air-sea exchange, seafloor processes, and plate-scale geodynamics. In addition to moored submersible sensor systems, the OOI is also deploying autonomous underwater vehicles and ocean gliders.