The extended observatory comprises a group of mobile ocean-observing systems, mainly based on autonomous marine vehicles and drifters (drifting buoys).
Regular missions include to link coastal and oceanic waters and to monitor the region beyond these two areas, expanding the monitoring of the Atlantic basin. Also providing external support to national and international initiatives.
Some facilities are shared with coastal and deep observatories (i.e. surface vehicles, laboratories, e-infrastructure).
The oceanic node [ESTOC- European Station of Time-Series in the Oceanic of Canary Islands] is located 60 nautical miles northwards of Gran Canaria over 3670 meters depth. It has been operational since 1992 for the development of long-term meteorological and oceanographic time series in the East-Central North Atlantic area. The Deep Observatory shares some facilities with coastal and extended observatories (eg surface vehicles, laboratories, e-infrastructure).
The Observatory contributes to the Essential Ocean Variables (EOV) monitoring and to the modeling of related phenomena, such as ecosystem processes. The use of state-of-the-art technologies facilitates observations at increasing depths and geographic scales. PLOCAN offers access to its observation facilities for the benefit of research, development and innovation in the marine-maritime sector, as well as a wide range of services portfolio and opportunities, from testing and demonstration of new technologies, specialized training or consulting and integrated management services. The Test Site, the Multipurpose Offshore Platform and the PLOCAN land facilities provides support for testing of deep observation systems, benchmarking, calibration and instruments validation.
The Coastal Observatory, located mainly at the PLOCAN test site area, includes a multidisciplinary and permanent set of autonomous ocean observation platforms and an underwater cable prepared for the installation of ocean-observation infrastructures. The observation systems and facilities support the environmental monitoring needs of the Test Site. Some facilities are shared with the deep and extended observatory nodes (i.e. surface vehicles, laboratories and infrastructure).
The Canary Islands location in the Central North Atlantic region, is a privileged position for observing the ocean processes of global interest and in particular for Europe, the long-term observation and its connection to the associated socio-economic processes. The processes in nature occur at different spatio-temporal scales. Oceans represent 70% of the planet's surface, so its influence on the global scale is critical, however, the level of knowledge and the observation capacity of the seas and oceans, although it has improved and increased substantially in the recent years, it continues to be insufficient. Therefore, the need to improve and extend the ocean's observation capacity and its contribution to global processes persists.
The PLOCAN observatory is a node of EMSO (European network of ocean-observation infrastructures) and concentrates a great observation capacity:
The management of the ocean-vehicles base (VIMAS)
The monitoring and continuous instrumentation of the test site (COASTAL Observatory)
The continuous deep-ocean observation for more than 20 years at the ESTOC station (OCEANIC Observatory)
The Macaronesian Marine-Maritime Network (R3M), with oceanographic stations and buoy systems (ODAS and SEAMON) for real-time measurements.
The Data Center.
They allow to focus, update and enhance the quality, quantity, projection and utility of an integrated observation infrastructure.
The oceanic node [ESTOC- European Station of the Temporary Oceanic Series of the Canary Islands] is located 60 nautical miles north of Gran Canaria and with a depth of 3670 meters. It has been operational since 1992 for the development of long-term meteorological and oceanographic time series in the Center-East of the North Atlantic. The deep observatory shares some facilities with coastal and extended observatories (eg surface vehicles, laboratories, e-infrastructure).