UNOLS COMMITTEE REPORTS
FOR COUNCIL MEETING – JUNE, 2002
Ship Scheduling Committee Report
As of June 14, 2002, I have not heard of any problems in the 2002 ship’s schedules. For 2003, the Letters of Intent (LOI) are beginning to be submitted. As of June 14, 21 vessels have submitted at least one LOI. There is a wide range of total number of days scheduled on vessels, from 45 to 654 days. This range should get narrowed when funding decisions happen. The stumbling blocks for 2003 appear to be the usual suspects – ROV availability, North Pacific weather windows and multiple ship operations, although that doesn’t seem as prevalent in 2003 as in 2001 and 2002. The Scheduling meeting is booked for July 17 and 18 at NSF in Arlington. Besides wrangling with ship’s schedules and LOI’s, we will deal with security issues and clearances, and solicit inputs on the ship time request/scheduling system improvements.
FIC Report to UNOLS Council
The UNOLS Fleet Improvement Committee is now active in the following areas:
Ocean Class and Regional Class SMR Community input and Workshop Plans
Ocean and Regional Class Science Mission Requirements are being developed this summer. WWW based input is being received now. Workshops will be held in Salt Lake City in July for the Ocean Class and August for the Regional Class effort.
Navy Common Hull Study
The project is six months long and started in April 2002. The Navy’s contractor, JJMA, has received Ocean class mission requirement information and has requested Regional Class. The contractor is collecting Navy mission requirements for various vessels. A variety of hull forms will be considered.
The goal is to determine what hull forms will work. What might be the best design (single, SWATH, cat, etc.) for each application? Which hull is most scalable to all vessels (if any)?
Status on ARRV Preliminary Design, Model tests, community input, funding
Model tests are about complete with design criteria apparently being met. Funding is publicly been stated to be in the 2004-2005 NSF budget. Open meeting was held at NSF on June 13th to review the design.
KILO MOANA Status report, Inspections and Science testing
The Kilo Moana is scheduled to begin science operations in late September, but delays are possible. FIC is very concerned that we have a fair assessment of its capabilities as soon as possible after it becomes operational. Systems testing should be done over the summer and on the first cruises. Scientists should be selected to provide a diverse assessment of the vessel. Results should be published in EOS, MTS, etc. These activities are absolutely necessary for a successful launch of science on the Kilo.
In the past few years the concept of observatories in the ocean has gained credibility. Observatories or observing systems provide long-term presence in the ocean with an increasingly sophisticated array of instruments.
A recent workshop on the coastal ocean observatories in Savannah hosted by CoOP will provide a new vision of what coastal ocean processes can be revealed with such systems.
This summer and fall scientific priorities that require or are best served by a network of cabled observing systems will be examined by the National Science Foundation's Committee on Scientific Cabled Observatories for Time Series (SCOTS).
The National Office for Sustained and Integrated Ocean Observing (Ocean.US) had a successful workshop at Airlie House in March 2002. From that a design and implementation plan has been prepared (www.ocean.us.net). Rita Colwell, Chair of NORLC, has delivered that plan to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. OSTP will deliver it to Congress this summer.
Aspects of the plan relevant to UNOLS include a call for considerable research on new observing systems, requirements for better understanding of ocean regions, and ‘mapping of the marine habitat’ every five years. It is hard to read into any of the visions a need for fewer ships although there will be more assets such as buoys, gliders and cabled systems in the water.