Seven of Norway's leading scientific institutions, comprising the network NOON, have joined forces with the aim of establishing a world class research observatory.
To be able to meet the challenges for frontier research there is a need for new infrastru cture permitting multidisciplinary, simultaneously observations of many parameters, long time monitoring, real-time monitoring and interactive access to the sea floor.
This observatory enables monitoring of the marine life and its environment, including processes and interaction between geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere. The vision is to strengthen Norway's position among the leading nations in marine science.
The suggested pre-project shall prepare for the establishing of a deep ocean ca ble-based observatory as an integrated part of ESONET. This is obtained by accomplish a dedicated three-step development to efficiently and gradually build experience:
i) Establish a cable based fjord observatory (CFO) in 2010 as a test and training site , and a platform for research topics, partly based on re-use of existing infrastructure.
ii) Establish a cable based pilot observatory at the gas field Snøhvit (2011) together with StatoilHydro.
iii) Establish a large deep ocean cable-based observatory (2 014)
During the pre-project the NOON partners will elaborate the ambitions and scientific topics, and evaluate different possible locations. A technical description of the observatories along with cost and funding plans will be prepared, and a feasibilit y study at Snøhvit accomplished. A fjord observatory will be designed, constructed, deployed and tested. The project group will also make a strategy, organization and operation plan.