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Sea-Bird Scientific Newsletter

Connecting Oceans to the Information Superhighway

Photo Credit: NASA/Tim Marvel

In a recent article in Scientific American, Gary Gysin, Commissioner of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission (GIIC), laid out his vision for an underwater information superhighway. Mr. Gysin points out that the world’s oceans are vastly undersampled relative to terrestrial, atmospheric, and even extra-terrestrial environments and outlines some of the obstacles we need to overcome to close this gap. In addition to deployed sensor scarcity, interoperability, and long-term stability, the lack of network infrastructure and standardized communication protocols are key impediments to getting to a truly digital ocean. In order to someday realize a truly connected ocean ecosystem, all organizations, including Sea-Bird Scientific, need to think about how we can innovate to overcome some of these challenges. For more on this subject, please see the full article The Digital Ocean.


Typhoon Choi-Wan Monitored by NOAA Ocean Mooring

Photo Credit: Jennifer Keane



Ocean Business 2017
Stand L9
Southampton, UK
April 4 - 6, 2017

Sea-Bird University
Kunming, China
April 26-28, 2017

Sea-Bird University
Bellevue, WA
October 16-19, 2017
15 Seats Available

Buy Online
*Only Available in
Canada and USA




Since 2004, the Kuroshio Extension Observatory (KEO) mooring has been monitoring the atmospheric and oceanographic conditions of the Western Pacific in real-time. Sea-Bird’s Inductive Modem system (IM) is the backbone of the KEO oceanographic monitoring system, transmitting data from a suite of over 20 subsurface instruments to the surface buoy, where it is relayed back to users via satellite telemetry. The dynamic response of the upper ocean to atmospheric forcing is captured by SBE 37-IM MicroCATs, SBE 39-IM Temperature Recorders, and Sontek Current Meters and Nortek Current Profilers (both integrated with Sea-Bird Scientific`s Inductive Modem Modules or IMMs). The subsurface instruments are connected to a 700 meter inductive cable, which transmits commands and data between the instruments and the Sea-Bird IMM within the PMEL-designed FLEX subsurface connection on the surface buoy.

On September 19th 2009, the center of Typhoon Choi-Wan passed 40 km to the southeast of the KEO mooring, generating an upper ocean response to strong atmospheric forcing that was captured by the real-time mooring (Bond et al., 2011). For more on the data captured during the storm, please see the associated Sea-Bird Scientific Case Study.


Training Opportunities at Ocean Business 2017

Sea-Bird Scientific is looking forward to once again participating in a full suite of activities at Ocean Business in Southampton, UK in April. An important part of every Ocean Business event is the opportunity to provide focused training sessions on key application areas. Topics for this year's line-up of training sessions include:

All Sea-Bird Scientific training sessions will be conducted in the Ray Beverton Room 044/11. Please Contact Us if you are interested in any of these sessions or if you would like to set up meetings with any of our team members at the conference. Come see us at Stand L9 and check-out our new products.


Tech Tip: Using Sea-Bird Inductive Modem (IM) Telemetry with Instruments from Other Companies

Customers interested in integrating a ‘third party’ RS-232 serial output instrument on an IM mooring have several choices for integration:

  • Sea-Bird Underwater Inductive Modem Module (UIMM) connected to instrument via bulkhead connector - The UIMM is a small underwater module containing an Inductive Modem Module circuit board (IMM), inductive cable coupler, and cable clamp, and clamps to the IM mooring line. The UIMM has extremely flexible communications, and can be set up to communicate with a large variety of RS-232 serial output instruments to be integrated with an IM system. The UIMM contains no batteries, and must be powered by the serial instrument or an external battery pack.
  • SBE 44 connected to instrument via bulkhead connector - The SBE 44 has a circuit board, internal batteries, inductive cable coupler, and cable clamp, and clamps to the IM mooring line. It allows a variety of RS-232 serial output instruments to be integrated with an IM system. If the serial instrument has modest power requirements, the SBE 44 can provide power. The SBE 44 has more limited interface capabilities than the UIMM.
  • Integration at Development Stage - Other companies can purchase an Inductive Modem Module (IMM) and a cable coupler, for integration in their own instruments at the development stage.

Note: Voltage output (analog) or frequency output sensors cannot be directly interfaced to the IM system.


PhotoMeet Our People
Heather Eberhart
Product Manager

Heather joined Sea-Bird in 2016 as a Product Manager. Her work involves supporting and improving current software and products, incorporating customer experience and feedback, understanding the market and competition, and driving new product development.

Heather has a B.S. from the University of Washington (UW) in Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE), with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction. Most of her elective classes at UW were in the Oceanography department, and she participated in research on marine renewable energy.

Prior to joining Sea-Bird, Heather interned at NOAA in the Ocean Systems Test and Evaluation Program (OSTEP), working with ultrasonic anemometer sensors and Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers. She also worked as a researcher on a federally funded project focusing on the Maritime Operational Information Sharing Analysis (MOISA) of the Puget Sound.

Heather loves to travel and to spend her spare time in the mountains or the ocean: hiking, backpacking, scuba diving, and sailing. When not on the move, she likes to read and to try new restaurants around Seattle.



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