ALOHA Wirewalkers

The Wirewalker™ (Del Mar Oceanographic) is a wave-powered drifting profiler designed to collect autonomous, vertically-resolved oceanographic observations. The profiler moves along a wire that is suspended between a float at the sea surface and a weight placed at a depth of tens or hundreds of meters. The system horizontal displacement follows the ocean currents.

Two Wirewalkers have been used to collect measurements in the open ocean near the Hawaiian islands since June 2017. The Wirewalkers are routinely deployed during expeditions of the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) where they complement shipboard measurements of the physical and biogeochemical characteristics of the ocean. The Wirewalkers are also deployed during expeditions organized by the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE).

The Hawaiian Wirewalkers collect vertically resolved measurements every ~30 minutes during the ascent from a depth of 400 m to the sea surface. Hydrographic measurements include temperature, salinity, and depth. Optical measurements include beam attenuation, backscattering, chlorophyll fluorescence, CDOM fluorescence, and downwelling irradiance in four spectral bands. A fast response optode measures the concentration of oxygen dissolved in the water.

This project is funded by the Simons Foundation.