Ocean Observing Systems
Technology has opened many new doors that are admitting a literal flood of observations from the ocean. Exciting new technologies include novel moorings and gliders, as well as better-known, satellite remote-sensing methods. SMS, through the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS), is at the forefront of observing-system development nationally. SMS is involved in an unusual diversity of such sensors and platforms, and benefits immensely from a world-renowned University of Maine graduate program in geographic information systems (GIS). Although the observing systems are diverse, they share many problems. A single, short observing program can yield a shopping bag of CDs filled with data. The grand challenge in ocean observing is to develop and implement means of converting this flood of data into a controlled flow of meaningful information.