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.

Work Packages

AtlantOS work packages

The project is made up of eleven work packages (WP):

  • WP1 Observing system requirements and design studies

    The overall objective of this Work Package is to iteratively apply the systems design processes of the Framework for Ocean Observing to provide a refined scientific system design for an IAOOS meeting societal objectives. Specific objectives are to:

    • To define the high-level requirements of IAOOS based on the GEO societal benefits and other international initiatives, providing a direct link to societal challenges related to the Atlantic basin and the European Blue Growth strategy. These requirements will be translated into strategic recommendations about sustained monitoring of EOVs.
    • To identify the gaps in existing Atlantic observing networks. This assessment will include an estimation of the cost of existing observing networks as well as the needed investments in regard to the identified gaps, and an evaluation of the readiness and feasibility of implementation of different observing technologies as guidance in systems design.
    • To deliver guidance to improve existing elements and/or implement new components of the IAOOS using OSSEs and data assimilation to optimally merge in-situ and satellite observations with models.
  • WP2 Enhancement of ship-based observing networks
    • To improve and provide consistent standards for the measurement of EOVs through establishing and maintaining high-standard protocols for sampling and processing the data
    • To provide best practice and know-how on sampling techniques for less experienced operators and groups
    • To increase the cost effectiveness of the ship-based observing networks by coordinating their monitoring programmes to eliminate possible duplication of effort (to be done in conjunction with autonomous observing networks)
    • To provide increased spatial-temporal coverage capabilities of the EOVs, especially in the South Atlantic, which will be undertaken in cooperation with Latin American, African and other countries
    • To establish best practices in order to provide consistency in the handling of the data processing
    • To provide support in order to ensure speedy data delivery to the users, including the possibility of establishing a data processing service in the case of ADCP measurements
    • To undertake innovative measures by testing new techniques and instruments such as an underway system for measuring total alkalinity (TA)
    • To better integrate ship-based observations including physical, chemical and biological measurements to provide a wider and more complete view of the state of the ocean than presently is available
  • WP3 Enhancement of autonomous observing networks

    As a prerequisite for the long-term sustainability of a future integrated observation system covering the entire Atlantic, several objectives will be met through the work in this work package:

    • Enhancement of autonomous observation networks to promote use of the most cost-effective way to measure essential ocean variables
    • Acquisition of more integrated data for a holistic understanding of variations in the Atlantic system
    • Implementation of more cost-effective platforms with improved long-term capabilities
    • Fill the observational gaps for certain under-sampled areas (e.g. southern Atlantic), for some periods (e.g. harsh winter conditions in sub-polar North Atlantic), and for new variables (biology including (meta)genomic, biogeochemistry)
    • Provide significant innovation potentials for SMEs
    • Improve the access to and usability of the data-system that will be implemented and integrated with other observation systems into a knowledge base
    • Develop management and innovation procedures to yield enhanced and integrated international observation networks and a sustainable European and Transatlantic infrastructure
  • WP4 Interfaces with coastal ocean observing systems
    • To conduct a detailed gap analysis for (a) the connection between continental shelf observing and deep ocean networks, and (b) sensors and technology required to more effectively monitor shelf seas (e.g. marine mammals, low oxygen zones)
    • To explore the feasibility of integrating existing coastal observing systems and introducing coastal profilers to partially fill the gaps
    • To explore the feasibility of optimising shelf sampling: (a) with ocean gliders to a scale where there is overlap with current shelf edge activity; (b) with FerryBox in one line implemented in WP2 to validate the physical and biogeochemical continuity between coastal and open seas; (c) with profilers using Argo floats for the open seas and ARVOR-CM for the coastal sea
    • To strengthen access to sea level data networks for the Atlantic region and produce a comprehensive sea level observing site catalogue to document and benchmark information
    • To increase the number of coastal systems and observations contributing to EMODnet and the Copernicus Marine Service
    • To build long-term linkages between AtlantOS and transatlantic partnerships in order to transfer knowledge and optimize the coastal observing system in the Atlantic
  • WP5 Integrated regional observing systems
    • To innovatively optimize the regional observing systems by making use of a number of recently launched international observing initiatives in the regions, in combination with the enhancement of observing networks in WP2/WP3 and including new ocean observation technologies (WP6)
    • To integrate, on a regional basis, the fragmented observations and build-on an international partnership on both sides and both hemispheres of the Atlantic Ocean
    • To build on an international network and its potential evolution, and basin scale consolidation
    • To identify key ocean observations addressing regional societal needs and determine their optimal observation
    • To integrate observational data (in-situ and satellite) for exploratory product generation on a regional scale and related to climate and ecosystems
    • To narrow existing in-situ observing system gaps and provide a more efficient observing strategy based on the specific characteristics of the regional ocean dynamics and ecosystems
    • To use the regional systems as a “showcase” for implementing a pioneering framework of ocean observation, more cost effective and user driven in order to prepare for basin scale and later global scale assessments
  • WP6 Cross-cutting issues and emerging networks

    This work package develops technology and observing system practices that enable multiple observing networks to produce more data that are better targeted at stakeholder, user and customer requirements whilst reducing overall cost. To further improve efficiency and impact it coordinates engagement of international expertise and dissemination of best practice. The specific objectives are:

    • to create a step change in the number of sensors and instruments addressing priority EOVs that are proven on ocean observing systems and hence impact both the gaps in data and cost of collection
    • to create a roadmap for the development of priority sensors and instrumentation and for their integration and inclusion in IAOOS
    • to develop the role of European industry in ocean sensors and instrumentation markets
    • to lead the development of metrology standards and best practice for ocean observing
    • to reduce the cost of IAOOS by efficiency gains delivered through networks and nations sharing resources and infrastructure during the creation, operation and maintenance of IAOOS
    • to include international expertise in the design and development, operation and maintenance of IAOOS and to disseminate this best practice
    • to address the chronic under-sampling of biogeochemical and biological variables (including (meta)genomics) and to address other observational / coordination gaps by supporting existing activities and the creation of new networks, observation technologies and programmes
  • WP7 Data flow and data integration 
    • Provide leadership for Europe in implementing GEOSS 
    • Integrate standardised in-situ key marine observations
    • Improve modelling outputs and reduce cost of data collection in support of ocean-related industrial and societal activities
    • Contribute to make better informed decisions and documented processes within key sectors
    • Improve the implementation of European maritime and environmental policies
    • Enhance the knowledge base necessary to cope with global challenges
  • WP8 Societal benefits from observing/information systems
    • To provide leadership for Europe in the implementation of GEOSS in the Atlantic in five areas of societal benefits, such as climate, disasters, ecosystems, health and water
    • To demonstrate the value and societal benefit of the existing observing system in the Atlantic through seven pilot actions: HABs mapping, coastal hazards early warning, safe ship routing, oil spill hazards, MSFD reporting, site selection for mariculture
    • To integrate data from the Copernicus Marine Service and EMODnet in the Atlantic basin, augmented by new AtlantOS data, to produce decision support tools for a variety of marine environmental and economic sectors
    • To produce a Data Adequacy Report from each different pilot actions documenting the observational and model data accuracy, accessibility and fitness for purpose
  • WP9 System evaluation and sustainability
    • To provide quantitative and near real-time information of the state of the in-situ Atlantic Observing System with defined key performance indicators to be monitored.
    • to analyse and properly document for each EOV the adequacy of the current observing and information system, where the observation capability for a given EOV is being addressed by a complementary set of in-situ networks and satellite missions.
    • to develop a long-term sustainability plan for IAOOS based on existing plans of international partners, European Member States as well as key European initiatives
    • to develop commitments for long-term funding of IAOOS by funding agencies engaged in ocean observations for research, monitoring and operational purposes 
  • WP10 Engagement, Dissemination and Communication
    • Engage implement a structured dialogue with the users of marine data and information from observatories
    • Encourage interested actors to consider the future of observatories and their place in the Atlantic area in order to cultivate and further develop a dynamic ‘ecosystem’ of actors and activities around a IAOOS
    • Take a proactive role to structure the exchange between the observatory communities in Europe, the US and Canada as well as other user groups
    • Disseminate the concrete results of work completed in WP1-9 as well as actively engage the potential users of data and information from observatories in both commercial and public sectors
    • Implement communication activities
  • WP11 Management and Exploitation
    • Provide top level management of the project to ensure aims of the project are efficiently and effectively met, on time and with the resources budgeted and that knowledge and innovation are properly managed
    • Provide effective reporting and communication within the project, between partners and stakeholders and between the consortium and the European Commission (EC)