A large diversity of programs of observation is conducted each year in the Atlantic basin by different research institutions and groups. These observing activities extend diverse geographical domains, aggregate many different strategies – from basin wide coverages to high resolution coastal ocean measurements – and involve a large variety of measuring systems such as research vessels, autonomous vehicles (gliders, AUVs, UAVs), fixed platforms, HF radars, surface and subsurface drifters, opportunity ships or citizen science programs.
Most often the different actors involved in these observing activities in the Atlantic domain are not informed about the others initiatives that may occur during the same time window. As a consequence we are not extracting the full potential from our observing programs and we are losing opportunities to cooperate and build a comprehensive view of the Atlantic. If information about the different initiatives was made available in time, it would create the opportunity to interact and plan in anticipation how the articulation of efforts could be operationalised.
Our challenge here will be to improve this exchange of information regarding the different initiatives running for the Atlantic domain in a way that could promote the collaborative effort to observe the Atlantic.
AA-MARINET Collaboration Portal
The objective of the web portal is to unlock the potential for articulation of the observation activities conducted in the Atlantic basin. As a central tool of AA-MARINET, the web portal will be transversal to all types of observing systems and to all geographical domains and timescales, it will provide information on ongoing/planned activities at sea. The information provided will be used by scientists/RI operators/others to search for complementarities and/or cooperation opportunities. Under the seed funding period of the Joint Action, the web portal will be fully operational and tested at the level of the AANChOR community.
The potential of this kind of web platform to create real synergies between different actors along the Atlantic base can be inferred from the many examples that we have in our individual experience in the conduction of activities or programs of observations. A team conducting a multidisciplinary cruise may “have room” onboard to install a sensor from a different group in their CTD package or even to receive onboard a scientist conducting complementary research; but in can also see an opportunity to articulate in time and geographical area their own ship observations with a glider section that is being conducted by another different team. Or it can made available the transits between operation areas to release floats or to conducted vessel mounted ADCP observations that were not initially contemplated in the mission program. In the same way a glider section that extends along the ocean basin and reach close to a coastal ocean margin can (if information is available in time) articulate with a regional/national program based on fix platforms or HF radars or event on multidisciplinary cruises, AUVs operations or citizens science, largely increasing the impact that both observing activities will have in the understanding of the functioning of the Atlantic environment. Finally the proposed web platform can be particularly useful to promote the articulation of different Trans-National Access (TNA) or similar programs that are being conducted around the Atlantic in the frameworks of different programs.