University of Washington to explore the planet from the ocean floor
A University of Washington oceanography professor's tenacious pursuit of research grants will yield an undersea observatory of extraordinary capacity and potential.
INTELLECTUAL rigor and plain old tenacity fuel scientific achievement. Those same qualities helped a University of Washington oceanography professor secure federal support for a vast undersea observatory.
John Delaney's vision of a network of fiber-optic and power cables off the Pacific Northwest coast to measure long-term, real-time collection of scientific data will become a reality with a $126 million research construction grant.
Delaney is director of the underwater research facility called the Regional Scale Nodes program. An earlier name, Project NEPTUNE, did more than invoke the Roman god of seas. NEPTUNE stood for North East Pacific Time-integrated Undersea Networked Experiments.
The money, one of UW's largest grants ever, will pay for the laying of cables offshore, what Delaney describes as the tinker-toy components of infrastructure that will empower a stunning breadth of scientific inquiry.
The science that will evolve from the seafloor observatory is all the more powerful because of the disciplines it crosses, the real-time nature of information, and simultaneous links to similar ocean installations in Canada, Chile, Greenland and Argentina.
Bright, creative minds will have an extraordinary new tool to study the oceans. Thank Delaney and colleagues for their determination.
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