Community observatories are scaled-down versions of ONC’s major observatories ( offshore NEPTUNE and VENUS in Saanich Inlet). ONC’s first community observatory was deployed in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut in 2012.
Each community observatory is designed and customized in consultation with local leaders and provides a localized system for year-round continuous, real-time ocean monitoring. Data collected from community observatories can complement other existing marine research activities, provide opportunities for educational programs that use locally-sourced data, and create technical training opportunities.
A typical community observatory installation includes an underwater instrument platform on the ocean floor linked by cable to a nearby shore station; an HD video camera and lights; underwater microphone or hydrophone; and sensors to measure standard seawater properties (temperature, salinity, CO₂, O₂, chlorophyll, etc.). Some installations also include instruments of special local interest, such as an ice profiler to measure ice thickness in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.
A shore station typically includes a small weather station and other instruments of interest, such as additional cameras. All of these data are freely accessible through Oceans 3.0.