FerryBox - ships of opportunity
NIVA's FerryBox system for the collection, analysis and presentation of oceanographic and water quality data combines information from sensors installed on board ships sailing along fixed routes with data from environmental satellites and discrete water samples. This automatic observing system has been developed and partly financed by NIVA, with support from national and international research projects.
Once every minute, the FerryBox system measures temperature, salinity, oxygen, chlorophyll and particle content at a depth of four to seven metres along the fixed route of a vessel. This amounts to about one measurement every 500 metres. Some of the ships with FerryBoxes can also carry advanced instruments for measuring solar radiation and reflection from the ocean surface., in addition to carbonate system variables pH and pCO2. The data is transmitted to NIVA in real time via satellite internet.
The system can activate sampling of water from predetermined sites using a refrigerated autosampler. Sampling can also be triggered by NIVA during a voyage as necessary.
NIVA downloads data from the environmental satellite ENVISAT. This data is processed and presented together with data from the ships.
Use of information from FerryBox
Information from FerryBox is used by a number of Norwegian and international research and monitoring projects.
The Norwegian Space Centre and the European Space Agency (ESA) use FerryBox data for their quality assurance of satellite data. The FerryBoxes are also part of the European Commission Horizon 2020 JERICO-NEXT and INTAROS projects. In addition, the data collected is used by the Norwegian Environmental Agency, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Research Council for the Inner and Outer Oslo fjord.
Example of interactive FerryBox-measurements. The graph is clickable (external website).