In situ observing system

Uwe Send

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posted 3 Jan 2010

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posted 30 Sep

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2 open review comments to “In situ observing system”

  1. Ed Urban says:

    I enjoyed reading this paper and I think it well summarizes the points of the meeting related to in situ observations. My only comment is that “biology” or “biological” should probably be used in most places that “ecosystem” and “ecosystems” are used. Ecosystems are an emergent property of the interactions among individual organisms, which is what I think we really want to measure, their abundance, productivity, diversity, behavior, etc.

  2. Bruce Howe says:

    31 January 2010
    Bruce Howe

    Comments on OceanObs’09 Plenary paper:
    TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED OBSERVING SYSTEM: IN-SITU OBSERVATIONS
    Uwe Send (1), Dean Roemmich, Niki Gruber, Peter Burkill, Steve Rintoul, Susan Wijffles, Lynne Talley, Arne Koertzinger, Tony Koslow, Dave Checkley, Herve Claustre, and others

    General comments

    This paper does a good job of presenting the overview on this topic. It might be good to provide a few more concrete examples throughout, and expand the recommendations similarly.

    I made the similar following comment regarding the Conference Summary: there seems to be a lack of system engineering rigor when discussing “integration”. Where are the quantitative requirements, the observing system simulation studies, the metrics for quantifying performance, etc. These are clearly in a state of evolution, but it should be made clear that a goal here for the next decade is to better establish a foundation/framework for this methodical evolution and development.

    There is no mention of the TAO-TRITON array.

    Detailed comments:

    P1, top right.
    “observing infrastructure components like floats, fixed timeseries, underway observations, or gliders” – mixing different things together. Is the infrastructure the hardware or the observations? Perhaps: Observations from fixed platforms (e.g., Timeseries using moorings or bottom instruments), mobile platforms (e.g., ships, floats, and gliders) or a combination (e.g., acoustic navigation of mobile platforms from fixed moorings).

    Need to somehow work in the ideas of sensing modalities, e.g., point and integral measurements, as well as other forms of infrastructure like navigation.
    Fixed Timeseries seem to be different than floats, underway observations, and gliders – mixing different things

    Section 2.
    2nd bullet (or elsewhere) need to work in climate change measurements, especially temperature/heat content.

    2nd para: confusing, mixing disciplines and topics?

    P2, top left – “inclusion of new variables” mention that not just new variables are needed to be measured, but current ones need new and complementary measurement methods to reduce error estimates, e.g., tomographic integral measurements to reduce full depth basin scale heat content estimates.

    Next paragraph – indicate that many time series are not point measurements with their limitations, but also are integral measurements, such as cable voltages to give spatially averaged current (Florida Straits) or tomographic measurements to give large scale average temperature.

    P2, top right, 2nd para. In clued acoustic tomography/navigation as a cross between a “component element” and an “ingredient”, supporting different sensing modalities (fixed, integrating, moving platform) simultaneous. There needs to be the system engineering put in place that can recognize and take advantage of these synergies.

    Improved platforms: outfitting gliders with acoustic nav is good, but ALSO, by setting up a nav system, with a very little effort more, one has a tomography system. Reference the Dushaw white paper re an integrated acoustic ocean observing component.

    P3 top left. Low hanging fruit.
    Middle – long sentence, awkward.

    Section 3.4
    Re abyssal ocean – reference Wijffels and Rintool

    Sect 5
    First para. Define SOT. Waves – 3rd line?
    Other communities?

    Bottom right. While saying tehse groups should work more closely, how to actually effect that is missing. Maybe that is for the small working group meeting after the conference – but something should be said. All stakeholders must be included, and an effort needs to be made to reach out to all, so that we don’t go through the next 10 years with the “same old”.

    Sect 6.
    Para 2. Need a modeler’s/data assimilator’s input here. Representation error is that portion of the data variance that cannot be represented by the model explicitly. This is always present. Only as model resolution and the physics explicitly model improves will the representation error decease and more of the intrinsic information in the data be used. It would be very interesting to know what the SNR/information content of a single float in current models would be.

    Para 3.
    There is a major disconnect here. If a data error is “too large” to have a significant effect, that is the way it is. Either improve the model resolution and physcis (and it still may have no effect), or accept that this particular measurement is not the best one/kind. Would a single point measurement of any quantity, however accurate, have any effect even if a model were perfect (the sea gulls wing beat).

    Para 4. Need models and data assimilation methods that can handle complex measurement functionals not restricted by adjoint methods.

    Sect 6.1
    1st para. Obtaining many critical…

    sect 6.3
    p5 top left. Delete “autonomous” – not relevant here and restrictive.
    Get the idea of proxies into this.
    This whole section can be reduced to 1 paragraph. The matrix discussion diverts. These methods exist and are well known.

    Sect 8.2
    Argo (lower case name). It seems so obvious – one doesn’t try and add sensors to the whole array but to a subset gradually over time. This gives the flexibility to juggle cost/float density, etc. (and note – cost should be a “global” cost including all systems)

    Last para. Broadband acoustic receivers. Already being put on 45 floats for nasa (Nystuen and Riser) for rain verification – one of the few ways to measure rain accurately. At the same time can get wind. These are ancient technology and need to be upgraded to lower power, more processing power to decimate the data.

    Sect 8.3
    2nd para. A very obvious sensor is a hydrophone – for higher trophic levels as well as wind, rain, etc.

    Sect 9. I believe there was an EOS article recently – much info there about attributing data to the collector.

    Sect 10.
    2nd para. Delete first sentence.

    In point 3, shouldn’t we be enhancing Tao-triton – after all, that is the biggest mooring array covering the largest area with some semblance of required spatial resolution.

    Mention global repeat of hydrographic sections. Why have gliders fallen off the map in this regard. Why aren’t gliders doing these sections routinely? Why are they just doing small areas? That was Stommel’s original vision – basin scale, with a subsert doing regional observing.

    Fig 1. This should be changed to include tao-triton.

    References should include:

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