NACO - Project description

8. Management and localisation

Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen serves as responsible host for a national NACO facility. A team at the Operations Centre at GFI/UoB in Bergen have the responsibility for all aspects of the running of the research infrastructure. A separate task force works on data and information access. This is done via web, using national marine data infrastructure such as the Norwegian Marine Data Centre (NMD), EGO, ArcticROOS, the European Coriolis Data Centre and other portals as appropriate. Runde Environmental Centre (REC) is a full partner in the facility and involved in all aspects of the facility including flight control and public outreach. A broad user committee with representatives from scientific users in supporting and other organisations prioritize the sampling programme in consultation with NACO staff.

  • SCIENTIFIC USER COMITTEE, Overall project manager Peter M. Haugan
    Function: Determine priorities on research projects
    • Members BCCR, NERSC, IMR,, NPI, UiT, UiO,... & external experts
    Responsible for moorings and glider operation centre
    • Glider tech. specialist, pilot: E.M.Bruvik, GFI
    • Glider sensor specialist, pilot: K.Kvalsund, REC
    • Chem.oceanography specialist, pilot: T. de Lange, GFI
    • Glider IT-specialist, pilot: I.Hessevik, GFI
    • Field crew: S.Myking, H.Bryhni
  • Liaison with climate science projects and research school in climate dynamics: T.Furevik

The operations centre includes senior engineer Erik Magnus Bruvik at UoB to be involved in the technical work ranging from glider operations to sensor developments. He is supplemented by part time efforts from existing technical personnel at the Geophysical institute who also are involved in launch/recovery and calibration as well as flight control. IT support will include developing and adapting web-based solutions for presentation as well as for operating gliders.

International developments in these areas are coordinated via EGO. It is expected that automatization and simplification of procedures will occur gradually allowing more efficient operations and less manpower intensive steering and handling of gliders. Building own competence and experience with gliders in the area will be important in order to achieve a more streamlined operation in future. It is important to realize that at the moment, a control centre for glider operations is manpower intensive but rapidly improving in efficiency. Active scientists and PhD students involved in different glider project are allowed involvement in control centre activities after initial training.

For long term operation beyond the project period, costs for upgrading and running will be based on user fees. For continued operation at the level described here, the expense budgets for 2013-2014 provide an estimate of the required resources that will have to be brought in during subsequent years. It will be critical for this long term operation that the operation is successful in initial years so that sufficient trust is secured from the users who will plan their budgets for subsequent years. This is a new model for funding the operation of a research infrastructure in marine science in Norway. The introduction and acceptance of such a model will be a key focus for the project management.

In case user interest evolves beyond the capacity of the present infrastructure, development beyond the budgeted amount would have to be covered by user fees in the project period to supplement the present budget. We foresee a development towards longer duration missions and reduced operational costs as time develops. On the other hand demands for more gliders and perhaps extension of the geographical area may occur. A revised organizational structure may then be agreed upon already in 2014 if necessary but normally to be put in place from 2015.

The University of Bergen has a strong commitment to marine research since it has been identified as one of the its two main strategic areas, and can be expected to continue oceanography and climate research in the indefinite future. Runde Environmental Centre (REC) is a young institution but has already received considerable long term support for much of its activities and can be expected to remain committed also after 2014 although no guarantee can be given.