The observatory allows the monitoring of the conditions and the sea state of the Ligurian basin by continuously acquiring meteorological, physical, bio-geochemical and wave measurements.
Over the years, this infrastructure demonstrated its capability for a long term monitoring of the ecosystem from the upper atmosphere to the ocean interface and down to the ocean interior. Indeed, the observing system payload has been recently updated in order to provide real time biogeochemical data of the euphotic zone (0-100 m) and physical parameters of the upper thermocline (0-500 m) down to the sea bottom. In the dark region, measurements are collected by sensors deployed on the sub-surface mooring deployed close to the surface buoy.
The mooring line is equipped with several conductivity-temperature-pressure sensors at different depths. Sensors on the mooring line operate in an autonomous way and their measurements are periodically available after the recovery and the maintenance operations whereas the deepest sensor is acoustically linked to the surface buoy so that data from this sensor are available in near real time in the same way as the measurements collected by sensors on the buoy.
The W1M3A observatory can host additional instrumentation for atmospheric and air-sea interface. New instrumentation can be integrated (permanently or temporary) into the existing acquisition and control system making the new measurements available in near real time. The setup and deployment of even high-cost relatively large and power consuming is possible.
The payload onboard the buoy can be grouped into three classes depending on the degree of operationality in terms of long term monitoring capability,quality od the acquired data and measurements techniques.