EU Horizon 2020 project

A large scale EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation project contributing to the Trans-Atlantic Research Alliance and GEO.

62 Partners, 18 Countries

International integration of Atlantic ocean observing activities – further supporters / members are welcome.

Concept & Objectives

The overarching objective of AtlantOS is to achieve a transition from a loosely-coordinated set of existing ocean observing activities producing fragmented, often monodisciplinary data, to a sustainable, efficient, and fitfor-purpose Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System (IAOOS). This will be achieved through research and innovation activities focused on: defining requirements and systems design, improving the readiness of observing networks and data systems, engaging stakeholders around the Atlantic, as well as strengthening Europe’s contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), a major component of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), its Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), and specifically on its emerging “Oceans and Society: Blue Planet” initiative. AtlantOS contributes to blue growth by merging new information needs relevant to key sectors such as transport, tourism, fisheries, marine biotech, resource extraction and energy with existing requirements. AtlantOS significantly contributes to trans-Atlantic cooperation by integrating existing observing activities established by European, North and South American, and African countries and by filling existing gaps to reach an agile, flexible IAOOS and associated ocean information systems around the Atlantic.

To achieve this, AtlantOS has eleven top-level objectives (Objective):

Objective1) Establish European leadership in a cooperative design of Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System (IAOOS).

This objective will be achieved by expanding upon existing capabilities and applying the systems design processes of the Framework for Ocean Observing (doi:10.5270/OceanObs09-FOO) based on the identification of sustained ocean observing requirements, through the refinement of priority Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs), the evaluation of gaps in the present observing system, enhancement of existing capacities, consideration of feasibility, and by maximizing its impact on information needs.

Work packages addressing this objective: WP1

Objective 2) Enhance the readiness of ship-based and autonomous platform observing networks so they become sufficiently mature for long-term sustainability.

This objective will be achieved by implementing more cost-effective multi-use platforms with improved capability and durability, measuring synchronously more interlinked variables (especially biogeochemistry and biology), improving accurate and timely data delivery, and by systematically filling observational gaps for specific under-sampled areas.

Work packages addressing this objective: WP2 and WP3

Objective 3) Support Atlantic observing communities within existing networks observing EOVs including international expertise in the design and development, operation and maintenance of IAOOS networks, and disseminate best practices, harmonizing data processing and quality control procedures.

This objective will be achieved by fostering trans-Atlantic cooperation and engaging new partners in IAOOS.

Work packages addressing this objective: WP1,2,3,6,7

Objective 4) Close the gap between continental shelf and deep ocean observing networks.

This objective will be achieved by building on synergies that can be realized in terms of harmonized observing strategies, applying new sensors and technologies needed to more completely monitor the shelf seas.

Work packages addressing this objective: WP4

Objective 5) Showcase the power of integrated trans-Atlantic observing to provide information necessary to cope with global challenges such as climate change, increased pressures on natural resources, and global-scale hazards.

This objective will be achieved by focusing on two examples: the subpolar North Atlantic and the subtropical South Atlantic. Both regions have productive high-seas fisheries and play important roles in the Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation and the marine carbon cycle.

Work packages addressing this objective: WP5

Objective 6) Create a step change in the observing system performance by innovation of sensors and instruments available for IAOOS and hence reduce data gaps and cost of collection.

This objective will be achieved through increased engagement of European industry in ocean sensors and instrumentation markets, leading the development of metrology standards and best practices for ocean observing, reducing the cost of monitoring by efficiency gains delivered through networks and countries sharing resources and infrastructure during the creation, operation and maintenance of IAOOS, addressing the chronic undersampling of biogeochemical and biological parameters by supporting existing activities and the creation of new networks, observation technologies and programmes.

Work packages addressing this objective: WP6

Objective 7) Provide new information products in several societal benefit areas (i.e. climate, disasters, ecosystems, health and fresh water) including increased safety for offshore activities and coastal communities.

This objective will be achieved by integrating all relevant data from Earth Observing satellites and the in-situ systems, and by facilitating their free and open access and use in synthesis and ocean model forecast systems by using the framework of the marine monitoring and information services of Europe, Canada, the United States and other Atlantic countries.

Work packages addressing this objective: WP8

Objective 8) Improve systems evaluation by providing quantitative and near-real-time information on the technical performance of the IAOOS networks and their timely data delivery.

This objective will be achieved by analysing and documenting the adequacy of observing and associated information products from IAOOS for each Essential Ocean Variable, developing a strategy for IAOOS longterm sustainability and contribution to GEOSS based on existing plans of international partners, EU Member States and key European initiatives.

Work packages addressing this objective: WP9

Objective 9) Develop a results-oriented dialogue with key stakeholder communities.

This objective will be achieved by enabling exchanges between the products and services that IAOOS and associated ocean information systems will deliver and the demands and needs of these key communities: the innovation and industry community; the regulatory and implementing community and the research funding community building on the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation.

Work packages addressing this objective: WP10

Objective 10) Engage a wide range of interested organizations and individuals over the course of AtlantOS.

This objective will be achieved by motivating and mobilizing new and young talent to participate in Atlantic Ocean observation-related activities, and developing a dynamic, gender and diversity balanced community of interested individuals and bodies around the activities of IAOOS by supporting inclusive and open observing networks within IAOOS.

Work packages addressing this objective: All

Objective 11) Enable free and open access to all data.

This objective will be achieved by maximizing all developed intellectual property to its fullest extent to achieve maximum benefit for and on behalf of the stakeholders, through provision of open access to peer-reviewed publications, with a combination of green and golden Open Access, and through the provision of open access to research data, by taking part in the “Pilot on Open Research Data in Horizon 2020”.

Work packages addressing this objective: All