Articles | Volume 10, issue 8
31 Aug 2010
 | 31 Aug 2010

The GITEWS ocean bottom sensor packages

O. Boebel, M. Busack, E. R. Flueh, V. Gouretski, H. Rohr, A. Macrander, A. Krabbenhoeft, M. Motz, and T. Radtke

Abstract. The German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System (GITEWS) aims at reducing the risks posed by events such as the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. To minimize the lead time for tsunami alerts, to avoid false alarms, and to accurately predict tsunami wave heights, real-time observations of ocean bottom pressure from the deep ocean are required. As part of the GITEWS infrastructure, the parallel development of two ocean bottom sensor packages, PACT (Pressure based Acoustically Coupled Tsunameter) and OBU (Ocean Bottom Unit), was initiated. The sensor package requirements included bidirectional acoustic links between the bottom sensor packages and the hosting surface buoys, which are moored nearby. Furthermore, compatibility between these sensor systems and the overall GITEWS data-flow structure and command hierarchy was mandatory. While PACT aims at providing highly reliable, long term bottom pressure data only, OBU is based on ocean bottom seismometers to concurrently record sea-floor motion, necessitating highest data rates. This paper presents the technical design of PACT, OBU and the HydroAcoustic Modem (HAM.node) which is used by both systems, along with first results from instrument deployments off Indonesia.