Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, 2014-09-02
http://www.hzg.de/institute/coastal_research/cosyna/033338/index_0033338.html

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There are large gaps in the knowledge of the abiotic and biotic processes in the Arctic. This is mainly due to the restricted access of sampling and measuring technology for hydrographic and biotic data because of ice coverage and temporally limited access to the field. Over the last decade, technology has made large steps in remote operated sensor systems which are nowadays operated or at least under construction all over the world. These systems, if working properly, provide data in a temporal resolution which has NOT been possible so far but has been spotted as most crucial for understanding, modeling and also finally forecasting possible scenarios e.g. with respect to environmental changes due to climatic change. With this background an automated monitoring station has been installed in Spitsbergen by a joint effort of AWI and HZG that operates the year around.

Underwater Node and FerryBox in Ny Âlesund (Spitsbergen)

-- A joint Experiment of AWI and HZG --

A  new AWIPEV Underwater Long Term Fjord Observatory has been installed in June 2012 at the AWIPEV Base at Ny Âlesund - Kongsfjord, Spitsbergen- on 79° North. It was planned and built in cooperation between AWI and HZG and is as well a part of COSYNA as of the AWI-Project KOL 07 ('Installation and running of a permanent online underwater monitoring station in near-shore waters  of Kongsfjorden at the old pier'; principal AWI investigators: Prof. Dr. Christian Wiencke and Prof. Dr. Philipp Fischer). The realisation was done by the German companies 4H-Jena enigineering GmbH and Loth (Wiesbaden). The planning and the installation on site was greatly supported by the outstanding expertise of the Norwegian company KingsBay.

AWIPEV Website


Location

LOcation of Longtern Observatory

The 'AWIPEV Underwater Long Term Fjord Observatory' is located at Ny Âlesund/Spitsbergen on the Svalbard Archipel.
In Ny Âlesund the Alfred Wegener Institut for Polar and Marine Research is maintaining 'year-around' together with French partners the Koldewey station. For oceanographic and ecological research a longtern monitoring station has been installed next to the 'Old Pier' using COSYNA technology.

Location of systems Location of systems

Two types of instruments have been installed near the Old Pier: A container with a stationary FerryBox system inside and an underwater system with a COSYNA Underwater node and in situ instruments.

System Design

Principle of measurement infrastructure Principle of measurement infrastructure


All data from the underwater instruments are coordinated by a simplified COSYNA underwater node*).
These data, together with data from the FerryBox on the pier are transferred via the AWI network (firewall) to the COSYNA server at Helgoland.There they are formatted, archived and transmiited to the COSYNA servers at HZG. Quality-assured data are transferred to the PANGEA data base.

*) Simplified means that the task of the Spitsbergen node is to provide only the infrastructure for some dedicated instruments that were pre-defined. Therefore, the extensive supervising mechanisms of the COSYNA underwater node that control data and power supply are not necessary here.

Underwater System

The underwater system is located about 20 m from the end of the Old Pier in 11 m water depth. The system consists of a simplified COSYNA Underwater Node with dedicated instrumentation.

The system is installed on a concrete frame at the sea floor. It contains two pumps for water supply of the FerryBox system, an uplooking ADCP and an 'elevator frame' with different instruments that can be remotely controlled from the AWI.

Instruments:

  1. CTD multiparameter probe CTD 60 (Sea & Sun) with the following sensors:
  2. Up-looking ADCP (RDI workhorse),
  3. Webcam, swivel-mounted  in dome,
  4. Stereo-photogrammetric system to assess length or volume of any object, e.g., fish,  in the cameras focus.

The multiparameter probe comprises the following sensors:

  • temperature,
  • salinity,
  • depth,
  • turbidity (Seapoint)
  • oxygen (optode, Anderraa),
  • chl-a fluorescence (Turner)

Instrument Frame

Principle of the underwater 'elevator frame' Principle of the underwater 'elevator frame'

The underwater 'elevator frame' is a new system that has been developed by AWI: The instrument frame with different instruments can be positioned between bottom and near-surface by remote control from Germany, enabling profile measurements and camera observations if different depths. Several balls acting as lifting bodies provide the necessary buoyancy. The frame glides along two wires that are kept straight by moored buoys.

FerryBox System

The FerryBox is located in a container at the Old Pier. It is a standard instrument as used in other COSYNA applications on shore.

Measurement System

Water is pumped by insulated  hoses from the Underwater Monitoring Station to the container. In winter they are heated (temperature-controlled) to prevent freezing.

Automated cleaning and prevention of biofouling is carried out with resh water that is provided by insulated underground pipes from the Ny Âlesund community. The pipes are heated in winter to prevent freezing.

The following parameters are measured:

 

  • salinity
  • oxygen
  • turbidity
  • chl-a fluorescence
  • pH

All data are transmitted to Germany and are free accessible on the internet

 

Container

The container is heavily insulated and is heated during winter. It is standing on stilts in order to prevent the buildup of snow banks.

A separated small compartment in front of the observation room prevents snow drifting into the warm observation room when persons are entering in winter. Webcams are installed to enable maintenance personnell to look out for polar bears before leaving the container.

 

Insulated FerryBox container on stilts Insulated FerryBox container on stilts

Companies involved in the design and construction of the AWIPEV Longterm Fjord Observatory

4H Jena enginnering GmbH: FerryBox

Loth-Informatic GmbH: Data system and data transfer

Kings Bay AS: Building of infrastructure (pipes, data cables, container installation etc.)


Foto gallery of installation work

Old Pier in winter

Old Pier in winter

Old Pier in spring

Old Pier in spring

Pipes & cables on shore prior to installation

Pipes & cables on shore prior to installation

Pipes & cables during installation

Pipes & cables during installation

Laying pipes & cables

Laying pipes & cables

Laying pipes & cables

Laying pipes & cables

Transport of FerryBox container

Transport of FerryBox container

International Installation Crew

International Installation Crew

Transport of Underwater System

Transport of Underwater System

Underwater system on pier

Underwater system on pier

Old Pier

Old Pier