Role: IT Manager / Technical Lead
Date: November 2015 - October 2018


The National Science Foundation-funded Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is an integrated infrastructure program composed of science-driven platforms and sensor systems that measure physical, chemical, geological and biological properties and processes from the seafloor to the air-sea interface.

The OOI network was designed to address critical science-driven questions that will lead to a better understanding and management of our oceans, enhancing our capabilities to address critical issues such as climate change, ecosystem variability, ocean acidification, and carbon cycling.

The OOI has transformed research of the oceans by integrating multiple scales of globally distributed marine observations into one observing system and allowing for that data to be freely downloaded over the internet in near-real time. The OOI will continue to deliver data and data products for a 25-year-plus time period within an expandable architecture that can meet emerging technical advances in ocean science.

Building on last century’s era of ship-based expeditions, recent technological leaps have brought us to the brink of a sweeping transformation in our approach to ocean research – the focus on expeditionary science is shifting to a permanent presence in the ocean. As technological advances continue over the lifetime of the OOI, developments in sensors, computational speed, communication bandwidth, Internet resources, miniaturization, genomic analyses, high-definition imaging, robotics, and data assimilation, modeling, and visualization techniques will continue to open new possibilities for remote scientific inquiry and discovery.


Ocean Observatories Initiative
Ocean Observatories Initiative

The OOI is funded by the National Science Foundation and is managed and coordinated by the OOI Program Office at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL), in Washington, D.C. COL is leader, owner, and operator of the OOI and its infrastructure. Implementing Organizations (IOs), subcontractors to COL, are responsible for construction and development of the different components of the program. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is responsible for the Coastal Pioneer Array and the four Global Arrays, including all associated vehicles. Oregon State University is responsible for the Coastal Endurance Array. The University of Washington is responsible for cabled seafloor systems and moorings. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is implementing the cyberinfrastructure (CI) component, which now includes the education and public engagement software. The OOI Data Management team is co-located with the CI group at Rutgers University.




Rutgers has been the OOI CI operator during the transition to operations phase. Rutgers was able to deliver a completed and functional CI system in 1.5 years that provides full curation to 100,000 distinct data sets. To accommodate this, the Rutgers CI team developed and implemented a CI architecture that is unique from other ocean observing systems in that it is scalable in a cost-efficient manner. The Rutgers systems engineering team led the specification, procurement and deployment of a robust and scalable computer systems network, provisioned testing and operational environments for OOINet software, developed and executed a cybersecurity program for the distributed network with the core focus on protection of the gold archive OOI dataset, and management of the software upgrades/extensions requested by the science community and the marine operators. Through participation in the construction and transition process, Rutgers has gained the unique expertise that will be required to cost effectively maintain and upgrade the CI capabilities through the critical early phases of operations.

The three main CI areas of work are:

Data Collection and Transmission to the Cyberinfrastructure

Data are gathered by both cabled and un-cabled (wireless) instruments located across multiple research stations in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Once acquired, the raw data (consisting mostly of tables of raw instrument values – counts, volts, etc.) are transmitted to one of three operations centers: Pacific City, directly connected via fiber optic cable to all cabled instruments in the Cabled Array; Oregon State University (OSU), an Operational Management Center (OMC) responsible for all un-cabled instrument data on the Pacific coast; and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), the OMC for Atlantic coast-based un-cabled instrument data. The data from the operations centers is transferred to the OOI Cyberinfrastructure for processing, storage and dissemination.

Data Management, Storage, and Processing


Data Management, Storage, and Processing

Two primary cyberinfrastructure (CI) centers operated by the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute (RDI2) are dedicated to OOI data management: the West Coast CI in Portland, Oregon, and the East Coast CI, at Rutgers University. While data from the Cabled Array components are initially received at the Shore Station in Washington, it is the East Coast CI that houses the primary computing servers, data storage and backup, and front-facing CI portal access point, all of which are then mirrored to the West Coast CI over a high-bandwidth Internet2 network link provisioned by MAGPI (Mid-Atlantic GigaPOP in Philadelphia) on the east coast and PNWGP (Pacific-Northwest GigaPOP) on the west coast. The data stores at the OMCs at OSU and WHOI are continuously synchronized with the data repositories located at the East and West Coast CI sites.

OOI CI architecture
OOI CI architecture


Data Safety & Integrity

Data safety and protection is ensured in two ways: data security and data integrity.

Data security is addressed through the use of a robust and resilient network architecture that employs redundant, highly available next-generation firewalls along with secure virtual private networks (VPN). Data integrity is managed through a robust and resilient Information Life-cycle Management (ILM) architecture that integrates redundant enterprise storage area network (SAN) (disk-based) and a robotic library (tape-based). SAN, an enterprise-level storage network of multiple hard drives managed by an intelligent device manager, reduces the data footprint by reducing data duplication while maintaining data integrity and access performance through storage redundancy. Tape storage, a “last tier” storage that is not dependent on power or cooling, supports longer-term backup and archiving, disaster recovery, and data transport.

OOI network architecture
OOI network architecture


Public Data Access

The OOINet Ecosystem employs the uFrame Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) software framework that processes the raw data and presents it in visually meaningful and comprehensible ways in response to user queries. Users can access this software over the Internet through the CI portal access point hosted at Rutgers.

Data Portal
Raw Data Archive
M2M request example


Related news

Oceanography, Vol. 31, No. 1, 16-35 (09 February 2018)
Nature Magazine, Vol. 534, 159–160 (09 June 2016)
NSF awards five-year $220 million contract (19 September 2018)

Award Information

National Science Foundation - Award Number 1005697
National Science Foundation - Award Number 1026342
National Science Foundation - Award Number 1836985
National Science Foundation - Award Number 1743430