The Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) and Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) have entered into a memorandum of understanding to partner in environmental sensor evaluations, focused on supporting technology transition into operations and providing independent performance information on diverse ocean observing instrumentation.
ACT is a U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) supported effort dedicated to fostering the development and adoption of effective and reliable sensors and platforms for studying and monitoring coastal, ocean and freshwater environments. The three primary ACT services are: (1) a third-party testbed for evaluating existing and developing sensors and sensor platforms, (2) a forum for capacity and consensus building through technology specific workshops and training exercises, and (3) a comprehensive data and information clearinghouse on environmental technologies.
ONC is a not-for-profit agency responsible for the management of the two observatories on behalf of the University of Victoria. The VENUS Observatory in the Salish Sea and NEPTUNE Observatory in the northeast Pacific, support a new generation of coastal and deep ocean research. With a 25+ year operating life cycle, Ocean Networks Canada enables transformative ocean research and technology development through an innovative cabled infrastructure that supplies continuous power and Internet connectivity to a broad suite of novel subsea instrumentation. ONC’s new Canadian Centre of Excellence in Ocean Observing Systems, the ONC Centre for Enterprise and Engagement supports industry and outreach activities fromONC, including a new Technology Demonstration Facility which will be used in partnership with ACT.
ACT and ONC will work together to identify technology needs and coordinate efforts. However, the emphasis of this MOU is to partner on instrument testing activities. The first such joint effort will be on an upcoming ACT Technology Evaluation of in situ pH sensors. High spatial and temporal measurements of pH directly in the field are key to understand and address ocean acidification. For example, monitoring changes in ambient pH will provide insight to carbonate mineralization and its impact on the health of calcifying organisms and communities such as planktonic foraminifera, coral reefs, and oyster aquaculture operations. As in all prior ACT Evaluations, this Performance Verification will follow the established process resulting in the release of public reports on the performance of individual instruments during laboratory and field tests in diverse environments and applications, including seafloor cabled deployments on ONC.