Buoys and Moorings: Automated Monitoring

These stationary sensors record and, in some cases, transmit data. Some are deployed only during the open water season while others overwinter.

  • Metocean buoys record and transmit ocean weather data
  • Acoustic moorings, completely submerged, record marine mammal and other underwater sounds
  • Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers and Upward Looking Sonars measure ocean currents and ice thickness


Metocean Buoys: Weather Monitoring in the 21st Century

These advanced buoys float at the surface to collect meteorological data including ambient air and ocean temperatures, wind direction and speed, humidity, atmospheric pressure, and wave heights and periods. Several types of metocean buoys are deployed including the Fairweather DART buoys customized by RPS Evans-Hamilton and the Axys Watchkeeper.

For more information on the Watchkeeper buoys see AXY Technologies
DART system buoy information can be found here: NOAA DART

Acoustic Moorings: Monitoring Marine Mammals Through Sound

The acoustics program is dedicated to quantifying the soundscape in the Chukchi Sea, using advanced technology to identify and localize marine mammal habitat and migration paths both spatially and temporally.

Each year, between 2007, when the program began, and its conclusion in 2014, JASCO Applied Sciences deployed their calibrated autonomous multichannel acoustic recorders (AMARs). Averaged over the program, 28 recorders were deployed each year. In 2008, 8 recorders went out; in 2010 there were 44 recorders. Over the course of the program, 40 years of sounds were recorded! And that doesn’t include winter recordings.

JASCO Applied Sciences and the Bioacoustics Research Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology websites have more information about these recorders.

Acoustic Doppler Current Profiling and Upward Looking Sonar

Ice profiling Sonar (or Upward Looking Sonar, ULS), manufactured by ASL Environmental Services, Inc. (ASL) provides information on ice keel depths while the Teledyne RDI Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler(ADCP) measures ice and ocean current velocities.

For more information on the ice profiling sonar used in our program, see ASL Environmental Sciences

Acoustics moorings like this one are entirely submerged and do not show up on the surface. This allows the hydrophone to pickup marine mammal noises as efficiently as possible
These large metocean buoys monitor weather conditions and transmit data to the National Data Buoy Center. The near-real-time data are used to make decisions on board the vessels as well as to provide environmental context for the other disciplines
The ADCP moorings advanced technology allows it to monitor ocean currents, providing valuable data to our science teams