A Review of the Regional Cabled Array in the Northeast Pacific

Rob Fatland, University of Washington Seattle Campus, IT, Seattle, WA, United States
The Regional Cabled Array (RCA) in the Northeast Pacific has operated continuously since 2013. Here I present an analysis of the health and reliability of the hundreds of constituent RCA sensors: From profilers carrying CTD and biogeochemical sensors; to fixed-depth platforms; to hydrophones, sonar, ADCPs, seismometers, high-resolution cameras and more; each sensor with its own "data story" to tell. As a provider of oceanographic Big Data the RCA has two important challenges to address: Data veracity (reliability) and data access. The project has integrated a set of important technologies to make veracity and access more transparent. These include a web browser data visualization interface, cloud-based infrastructure, a Python library for data retrieval, and the open science Jupyter/GitHub/Binder/pangeo data science ecosystem. In addition to this infrastructure overview I present a comparative analysis: Agreement of RCA-intrinsic co-located sensors and external comparison: With MODIS surface chlorophyll estimates and nearest-neighbor ARGO water column profiles. This work is conceived as a first stage in development of a "scientist handbook" (Jupyter notebook collection) on what to expect from and how to work with RCA data.